It is important to vote in local elections

Change always begins at the local level, so make sure that your voice is heard


Emily Dimond

A sign directs students and visitors to the new early voting location in the Madison College Truax Campus Gateway

Briant Lawler, Contributor

Around election time, we see people marching around town with “I Voted” stickers stuck to their chests like badges, and anyone who isn’t displaying one is constantly harassed to vote. Well, Madison has a local election coming up on April 2, and I’m going to harass you to vote right now.
You’re probably asking yourself: “Why should I vote in my local election?” Here, hold my hand, and we’ll walk through it together, piece by piece.

The first thing you should do, before we begin, is to register for Rock the Vote’s, which will send you election reminders so that you don’t accidentally forget a deadline and you’re always prepare for Election Day on Election Day.

Local government perhaps plays the largest role in your life and in your community, as locally elected officials are directly responsible for such things, like:
• Paris Climate Accord status.
• Marijuana legislation.
• Public transportation (buses, trollies, trains, bikes).
• Public safety and policing the police.
• Public school quality.
• Sanctuary City status.
• Housing markets and affordable housing initiatives.

Several influential federal policies began at the local level. Local politics have the money and power to incubate change in our country. For example, women’s suffrage, minimum wage, environmental protection, and marriage equality all began at the local and state levels. We can generate lasting, positive change and hold our elected officials accountable, and leverage this power by voting in local elections.
But sadly, on average, just 20 percent of voters actually cast a vote in local elections. But this simply means that your vote at the local level wields a much larger influence. There are countless examples where several local issues were decided by a single vote!

In all, because a vote is never meaningless, the message to take away from this is to vote in every election you can, and to register for “Rock the Vote’s Election Reminders.” They will give you the information you need to perform your civic duty and exercise your right to vote in local, state, and federal elections.