The dust has settled on the midterm elections in most states. It was an interesting and long election, and I am sure we are all happy to see the election commercials and mailings come to an end. As we move forward I have made a few observations.

Once again, we watch Florida bungle another election. This year Florida is joined by Georgia and Arizona. It is hard to see these shenanigans as anything but intentional. Isn’t it odd that these contested elections "where every vote must be counted: always come out in favor of Democrat candidates?

I was honored to be an election observer in Iraq for the 2010 election. The Iraqi government was very young and they faced ongoing violence and security issues. But, what I saw was fair, open and secure voting process. Voters turned out in large numbers to cast their votes, and election officials had checks and balances to ensure that each vote was secure and sealed for transportation to be counted. If Iraq can do it, what is Florida’s excuse?

Meanwhile in North Dakota, it seems that turnout on the Native American reservations was at or near presidential election levels. This is despite what we were told about alleged voter suppression. Sound measures to ensure the integrity of our elections are important and I would hope legislators from both parties will work together to further secure the election process in North Dakota.

An interesting result from our growing energy industry is that as our state’s population grows the historic election power of the Red River Valley is being balanced out. For many years, it seemed that 50 percent of the state’s population lived east of Casselton, but now that dividing line is much further west. This will have an impact on state-wide politics that we are just beginning to see.

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As for Minnesota, the day after the election a long and snarky letter was published in this paper asking if it was time to build a wall between Minnesota and North Dakota. While I am sure that this idea would find broad support on this side of the river, I would like to add that Democrat voters in Minnesota should be the last people to cast insults at North Dakota. I would suggest you get your own house in order before looking over the fence. You can start by being truthful about the people you elect.

Finally, I want to thank Al Carlson for his service to this city and this state. I served with Carlson and saw, more than most, how he served his constituents. Being majority leader of a large and diverse caucus is very challenging. You cannot make everyone happy, but Carlson was a very strong and good leader.

Time moves on as we all know and I congratulate Rep. Chet Pollert, R-Carrington, on his election as Majority Leader. Pollert is a good man of integrity and he will face the challenges as leader to help move our state forward. For those of you so inclined, I ask that you keep Pollert and his family in your prayers.