It is incredible!

Prior to Election Day 2020, interest was widespread and intense. Many of us — yes, I was a tad concerned – worried that confusion might arise at the poll sites exacerbating tensions to the point even of fisticuffs or worse.

However, Election Day went amazingly smoothly. If there were any scuffles or even issues they must have been so minor that they did not warrant reporting. Apparently, nearly everyone must have been on their best behavior. Film footage of folks waiting their turn to vote revealed orderly lines of people wearing masks and practicing social distancing. Long lines appeared orderly and everyone seemed to patiently accept the fact that the inordinately large turnout meant much longer waits.

Even more impressive and heartening was the increased rate of voter participation in this election. At 66-plus percent participation, this year marks a rate not seen since the 1900s. Aren’t we always complaining about the low voter turnout rate? There’s no complaint this year!

Doubtless increased mail-in ballots and the ability in some states to vote early, helped elevate participation.

It is likely the pandemic contributed by setting the stage for more mail-in ballots which, of course, required more counting and processing.

Let’s not overlook all of the election workers. We owe a heartfelt thank you to all of the regular staff of election offices – plus, to the volunteers who helped out. They were responsible for communicating with us – the voters – and ensuring that we received our mail-in ballots. Naturally, we inundated them with questions and calls.Yes, unfortunately sometimes some of us unleashed diatribes as our frustrations with the whole election process boiled over.

Remarkably, election officials maintained their cool, did their job and carefully and calmly counted ballots, despite working against deadlines.

Naturally, a few people are convinced that voters engaged in fraud.

It is difficult to see how fraud could be committed. Certainly counties led by a majority of Republican officials seemed sincerely devoted to total transparency. For example, in Adams County – a Republican stronghold – officials were concerned every step of the way. They made certain the voting process was open to us – the public.

Likewise, counties led by a majority of Democratic officials mirrored the same behavior.

In fact, just watching news coverage of the election process left one – well, me, at least – with the sense that the entire nation’s major focus was a clear, clean election. One so transparent, that there could be no doubt about the validity of election results.

Look at the results. Both major parties lost, but both also won!

While a Democrat was elected to the presidency, a majority of down ballot candidates on the Republican ticket won. That’s definitely the case here in Pennsylvania.

Peggy Noonan, who was a speechwriter for President Reagan, now a Wall Street Journal columnist, explained that, “... the ultimate (election) result strikes me as inherently moderate.”

Indeed, it appears that the voters spoke and demonstrated a desire for moderation. Moderation can only be achieved when opposing sides are forced to work together. It is vital that the two major political parties talk with (not at) each other, engage with each other and hash out and hatch policies that are most beneficial to these United States.

This requires arduous labor, but it also requires that the extreme ends – the far, far right and the far, far left – of each party bring their input to the table. Their insights should be considered in formulating policies. Granted so many with such varied opinions may slow an already cumbersome process. It is the job of our senators and representatives and even the President to compromise. Guiding a nation as diverse as ours requires compromise. None of us will obtain every policy that we wish to implement, but that should not keep us behaving as though we are in the dark ages.

As to possible election fraud that should definitely be checked out.

If there is hard evidence of fraud, it is not only this administration’s right to request recounts but it is this administration’s obligation to us the voters.

However, if there is no substantial evidence – which thus far there appears to be none – then it is incumbent on the current administration to – as quickly as possible – facilitate the transition for the incoming president. The calm, smooth transition of power in our nation is one of the great strengths of our democratic form of government. Confusion during the all-important transition days hazards sending a message to our enemies that we might be vulnerable – at least during those moments – to their unwanted intervention.

Thus, we should all be encouraging a peaceful transition – a transition that genuinely reflects the spirit of our – just passed – election.

After all, as Peggy Noonan so eloquently pointed out, “The entire election was somewhat triumphant!”

Pat Nevada, whose opinions are her own, lives near Gettysburg.