Politics

Local Elections Matter

Every political seat, whether it is held at the town or national level, is important. It may be hard to believe that, but it is true. I’ve volunteered for a few local election campaigns and I cannot believe how much I learned.

For example, there’s elected positions for so many things on a local level. And I’m not just talking members of your HOA board. I am talking about things like your sheriff, local court judges, your state assembly, and even your town or city councilpeople. It may sound trivial or small, but those people matter.

Think about it this way: if the federal government passes a law, it can be years before you actually see anything come of it. And even then, it might not impact you at all. You cannot say the same thing about laws passed on a local level. If the federal government decides to raise taxes, you might barely notice it, and even then you’ll only see it once you’re filing at the end of the year. However, if your local government decides to raise taxes, your property tax could go up or you could be paying more in sales tax whenever you buy anything. The feeling is much more immediate and impactful.

Local elections have one of the lowest turnouts in this country and that is stupid. Their actions have more bearing your day to day life, so you should want to have a say in electing them. You should really be paying attention to who they are, what they believe, and when their terms are up. You should want to choose people who are doing to do a good job and whose values align with your own. You want people who are going to pass local and state laws that you agree with. You also want to pick law enforcement personal that will enforce the laws you support and judges who make decisions that uphold your values.

I remember being a kid when the doorbell rang during dinner. My parents were annoyed at whoever the guest was for interrupting dinner. My dad answered and it was the County Executive. He wanted to know if my parents had any concerns about the neighborhood. My dad pointed to the end of our driveway at a huge puddle. “Well,” he said in his dad voice, “I could use a drain at the end of the driveway, but Public Works won’t listen to me.” And you know what? A week later someone was there, digging a hole and installing a drain. When people come over and my dad points out the drain and how we got it, my dad actively campaigns for this guy. He has since moved on to higher positions, and he has the vote of everyone in my house for as long as he continues to run for office.

If we hadn’t met him while he was a local politician, we might not be so loyal. So that’s another way local elections matter. They’re the ones who will actually get things done for you on a personal and immediate level. Be sure to pay attention and contact them. They need to be in touch with their constituents and the things that matter to the people in their district.

I hope I’ve explained the importance of local elections enough that now you’ll participate in them!