A chance to make a difference. To participate in democracy. To use our power wisely. Journalists love Election Day. And judging from consistently high turnout numbers, Teton County’s registered voters do too.

On Tuesday’s special specific purpose tax election day, impressive numbers of Teton County voters cast their ballots for projects they believe will take care of humans, wildlife and the environment.

A sole item failed to pass muster with the masses: planning for a revamped courthouse.

People can postulate all they want about failed propositions, but in the end the “why” doesn’t matter. The county has a subpar facility that must be upgraded. Public money will be used to that end. It’s just a matter of what pot it will come out of. Homeland security grants are possible. A municipal bond could be floated. Grants can be applied for. Teton County officials now must take the lead.

The town’s vehicle maintenance facility feels like a big victory after it failed on the SPET ballot in May 2017. Backers did a better job explaining its value to snowplows and other essential vehicles, not to mention the mechanics who one day won’t have to wrench on engines in subzero temperatures.

This tax money touches so many different community needs, from upgrading antiquated fire trucks to building a sidewalk to give kids a safer route to school. From building better infrastructure for stormwater to creating safer road crossings for critters.

Best of all, enough voters turned out for all of us to be confident enough to say that the community has spoken.

This editorial represents the opinion of the News&Guide’s editorial board: Johanna Love, Rebecca Huntington, Kevin Olson and Adam Meyer.

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