The Importance of Local Elections

The general election is quickly approaching. Most Americans’ main concern is about the presidential nominees: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. According to voting turnout statistics, in the 2012 general election 57% of the population voted. All of these people wanted to have a say at a national level, but what about their home towns?

According to a study done at the University of Wisconsin. Only 21% of voters, voted in the 2011 election. The study also shows that the voting turnout for off year elections is steadily decreasing. Most people don’t realize that the local elections are more important for them than the national elections.

Many people don’t even know the elected officials in their states or towns. The president doesn’t have enough time to listen to every citizen’s problems with the country. Thankfully, local officials can help you directly, they are responsible for a considerable smaller amount of people. Because of this, you have more say and the issues have more of a chance of affecting you directly. Taking advantage of local politics allows you to have a greater impact.

The public school system is very important to a lot of Americans. The local elections directly affect public schools. This is one of the reasons why voting in your local elections is important. Congress isn’t in charge of your local public school system, the elected officials on the school board are.

It’s important to vote in the off year elections because your vote is worth so much more than it is in the presidential elections because of the smaller demographic. By voting in your local elections, you can help yourself out. They affect where you live, your neighbors, and the other people in your town directly.

A few ideas have been proposed in order to increase local election turnout. Making the local elections on even-numbered years is the most popular solution. It’s much easier to draw attention to the local election while the national election is going on.

Media coverage has also been a problem in local election turnout.  Small local newspapers are going out of business, which means many stories get little attention.  Also, Americans are too caught up in national and global news, as well as celebrity news.  When people are consumed by only the national stories, they tend to forget what’s going on around them. Getting involved locally is important for schools, poverty, maintenance and various other town issues.  Sharing what’s going on in your town– whether by talking about what’s on the local news or by blogging about local news on your own site,  can be great ways to express your views.

And even if there is a small voter turnout, there will always be town elections. Towns are not going away. Since a small amount of people show up to local elections, only a certain group of people vote. This means the voices of other diverse groups are not heard. That’s why it’s important to vote as much as you can, so more citizens can have a say in what is happening in their town or city.

The opportunity to vote allows Americans to democratically express their beliefs and contribute to the government.  Yes, it is important to vote for president; but always remember to vote locally too:  it will benefit your town and your town’s future!

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1 Response »

  1. I had to write a paper for my civics class, and this article was extremely useful. Thank you and I did cite.

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