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Column: Elections, freedom aren't safe everywhere

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Election day has come and gone in the United States in a manner which we all need to appreciate.

The elections were, for the most part, fair, free and safe. We were all allowed to vote for who we wanted to and to vote on various ballot initiatives.

The elections were safe. No one was injured or killed either before or after the elections.

It is recognized on the part of both parties that above all, we are Americans and working together we do much better than working against one another. These are some fundamentally important issues.

Where I am currently living, in Eldoret, Kenya, there is significant concern about how fair the elections will be. There is also a very pressing concern about the safety of the elections.

During the last election, over 1,300 people were killed in the community in which we live after they were incited by their political leaders. Today, Kenyans and foreigners alike are deciding whether they will stay in the country or leave during the election period out of concern for their safety.

That is a very big deal, no matter how you think politically.

Elections in America have not always been safe, free and fair. We don’t need to look back too far in our history to remember the times when minorities were not allowed to vote or when people were paid or coerced to vote a certain way.

As we head toward the Thanksgiving holiday, let’s add safe, free and fair elections as an important thing to be thankful for in addition to the peaceful transition of power which we are looking forward to in January.

Democracy and freedom are tenuous at best and a way of life we need to appreciate and work hard to maintain. They are the most important deal going.

Columbus resident Michael Greven and his family are spending the next two years in the African nation of Kenya where he is supervising the construction of a chronic disease care center under the sponsorship of Indiana University.

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