The Importance of Voting in Local Elections


During every election Americans hear the constant reminder that they should exercise their right to vote. This reminder not only encourages Americans to vot, but reminds them that their right to vote was fought for. No matter what election, local or national, voting should never be a question.

Ren Lloyd, Reporter

When choosing candidates for government, voters tend to disregard local elections in their community, as opposed to larger elections. Regardless of the status of the election, each election requires just as much attention as the next. Local judges, sheriffs, governors, and mayors all play a major role in the lives of American citizens, just as much as the President does. 

Our local elections direct the day-to-day operations of our immediate surroundings, like schools, parks, roads, libraries, and so much more. Voting in local elections helps solve issues that occur in your community. For example, if a city faces issues with crime, voting for a good sheriff would help solve the issue. If a county school system begins to fail, people on the Board of Education can fight for more funding, or advocate for teachers’ and students’ safety. Each part of the community requires attention, and if your community holds an election, people should definitely participate by getting up and casting a ballot! Local elections give the people an easy opportunity to make their communities better. 

On a general level, however, local elections suffer in participation and understanding simply due to the lack of information offered to voters about when local elections occur, what decisions they impact, and just the significance of local offices. In several circumstances the county never notifies citizens about local elections, so most Americans do not vote in them. 

Local elections determine how well a city functions based on the decision of the people. They make policies regarding what types of development can take place in certain zoning districts within the city limits or in unincorporated parts of the county. Things suck as gentrification, the criminal justice system, and education depend on the vote of the people.

Nevertheless, a number of Americans do feel as if local elections do not require as much attention as larger scale elections. The vote of the people in local elections also affects larger elections. Your vote may not directly elect the president, but if your vote joins enough others in your voting district or county, your vote undoubtedly matters when it comes to electoral results. While presidential or other national elections usually get a significant voter turnout, a smaller amount of voters participate in local elections.

According to the New York Times, this issue certainly occurs often. Most local elections occur on dates other than national elections. Sometimes on a different day; or maybe an off-year, in between midterms and presidential votes. The government tries hard enough getting people to vote for president and Congress, and they try even harder to get them out again to vote for county and city officials with little success. Several Americans genuinely dread the fact that they must participate in the presidential elections, let alone the local elections. They feel like local elections cause them too much of a hassle rather than simply voting for people who run the country but not their community. 

“That is a lot of extra work just to vote for a school board contest or a special district measure. By moving those elections to coincide with national elections, though, we make local voting essentially costless”, said New York Times Professor Zoltan L. Hajnal.

Consequently, multiple Americans hesitate to vote in any election at all due to the hassle and stress of choosing a candidate. The importance of voting in said elections, ensures that the people receive an equal and fair opportunity to choose who makes decisions for their country. Exercising this right to vote poses as a key component for thriving in America.