While national elections are highly publicized and the candidates much more well-known, voting in local elections is just as important. Local politicians are the ones most likely to make a tangible impact on your daily life; they enact policies that directly affect you. Because of this, it’s important to make your voice heard during local elections, as well as the national ones.
Voting provides you with a say in your local government. You have control over who is representing you and making decisions on your behalf. If you’re not happy with specific things in your community, vote for the representative that you feel would do a better job. Hold your local representatives accountable for their performance. With local officials, you have the ability to call or visit them to express your concern or unhappiness. You’re able to have a much more personal relationship with these officials, and as you’re the one keeping them in their job, they’re much more likely to take your concerns seriously.
Local elected officials are the most accessible part of the government for the average person. They’re the people you can approach when you have an issue with something happening. Local officials are supposed to work to help solve problems in your communities and make them better. If you have a specific concern about an issue, it’s likely there are others around you that are concerned about the same thing. Talking to your elected officials, and encouraging like-minded individuals to do the same, will ensure that your representatives know how their constituents feel about an issue, and may influence how they vote on it, should the situation arise.
Local politics play a significant role in what happens in our local schools. If you aren’t happy with the way things are being run at the schools in your community, attend a school board meeting and voice your opinion. If your concerns aren’t addressed, vote out the current school board when election time comes around.
While local changes may not immediately trickle up and turn into global changes, the changes made in your local government do have an impact on the world. Local governments can create precedents that then need to be followed by the national government. Local change can bring issues to the media’s attention, making more people aware of the topic. Most importantly, local changes make your community a place you want to live and ensures that your government is working for you.