Political engagement doesn’t end on Election Day

Published 6:16 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The dust has settled and the elections have been decided. While vote totals remain unofficial until canvassing is complete, we can all breathe a little easier for a while.

No more campaign ads blaring on the television and radio, no more robocalls and texts disturbing family dinners, a slight lull in the political posting on social media, roadsides free of campaign signs (candidates, please don’t neglect to pick these up) — these are all things that we can look forward to in the coming days.

Likewise, the hardworking election officials, volunteers and precinct workers who have made the election possible can take some time for some much-deserved rest.

While the political season has ended, and some of the excitement of the election will certainly wear off, it is absolutely critical to remain engaged throughout the year.

That means going to county and municipal meetings, or at least watching them on TV. That means paying attention to what is happening in the General Assembly and how our elected state officials vote. It means keeping a close eye on the actions of all elected officials in Beaufort County, and making sure they are accountable for said actions.

In short, political engagement is something that cannot and should not begin and end during election season. Rather, it is one’s year-round duty to remain interested and active in national, state and local politics.

So take the breather. Come up for air. But don’t stop paying attention. By keeping an eye on the political scene, you may become a more informed citizen and voter next time elections roll around.