Voting locally is easy and important

Hannah Holliday | Cartoonist

Different from other political involvement, or lack thereof, being involved with local government is integral because it’s being involved with your community.

The types of things that can be addressed through local government, that people can directly have a voice in, include things like public improvement, construction, community health, primary education, local organization development and representation, as well as connection with the government.

Current community issues like these can have information gathered by locals through resources like – locals can find what local polices and officials are and decide if they want to get involved and initiate change or provide support. People can also find leadership listings, pending or changed legislation and ordinances, board and commission position applications, meeting times and opportunity for involvement with city council and more.

In 2014, the Knight Foundation found that only 1 in 5 eligible voters show up for mayoral elections.

Local elections may not seem as big of a deal as those on the national scale, however, they are just as important because the results can affect you directly. People may not feel like they have a ton of power in national, or even state, elections because the separation is so large; but with local elections, you have the ability to directly engage.

Pay attention to the issues and candidates up to represent you community in your area. Know the basics of the political situation and what the processes are in your community. Many people argue that they don’t know what’s going on and that’s why they don’t engage, but there are resources like that can help you learn and have access to everything you could need to know.

Resources like can help you learn who your current representatives and officials are and what they stand for, as well as, direct you to upcoming election information and support. If the reason people don’t get involved in local politics is because they don’t know and don’t care, it’s actually so easy to learn and get engaged – you just need to know what your resources are.

If only 20% of the local vote-eligible population is participating in elections and politics, the system can get swayed or dominated easy. Change won’t happen if people just leave it to the same community members to make all the decisions for them repeatedly – voters, representatives and officials. The local pool is so small that people who don’t get involved can perpetuate the low quality or unchanging perspectives of people reelected just because you don’t care. Being uninvolved can perpetuate lack of change and addressing of other issues in the community.

The resources are at your fingertips; getting involved locally in elections and representation does not require picketing outside city hall.

Get informed and get involved in local politics – it affects your everyday life and you have the access and resources.