2017 is an off-year for US elections. November 7th will see gubernatorial elections held in Virginia and New Jersey, as well as house state legislative elections in the same states. There will also be various other local elections, mayoral races and other citizen initiatives taking place. There is a lack of media coverage for these smaller elections, and they will certainly fly under the radar.
Many won’t know where to vote, who to vote for or what issues should help them decide. A small minority of people will determine the election results for these local positions. You should count yourself among the few who make it to the voting booths tomorrow and exercise your constitutional right to vote.
Your Vote and Voice Matter
More than the presidential elections, actually. Your vote counts significantly more at the local level than it would for the higher-turnout, whole-state elections for president.
Given the power of your vote, you have the unique opportunity to be heard. Whether you candidate wins or not is very important. More important still is voicing your political beliefs and opinions through voting. Even if your preferred candidate falls short, your vote will be seen by the eventual winner, and future candidates will consider you — and those who voted along the same lines — when running.
Something to keep in mind: though the media may not cover the elections, politicians will be keenly aware of where the votes are going. Their job is to get elected and fulfill promises to the electorate. Your job as a voter is to reward or punish that policy, and candidates will have their eyes on the numbers, whether they win or lose.
Vote, and encourage others to vote and participate, and you will see results. These elections determine future policy on a local level, and the men and women you elect will have the final decision on that. Sitting at home means you have forfeited your chance to push for policies relevant to you.
Either way, you are giving up your single greatest political power by staying home.
Regardless of your political opinions, it is impossible to stay away from politics. Politics affect our everyday lives and rights, and if you voted in the presidential elections, you have no reason to skip your local elections. Do some research into what is up for debate in your area and which candidates align best with your needs and views.
Look online to find the nearest polling location, as well as any upcoming debates or political events near you. You have the right to vote — do some research and use it! See you on election day!