Voting in local elections is our most important duty

Published 2:17 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

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There’s a primary election coming up Tuesday, but you won’t find a presidential or gubernatorial race on the ballot – not even a congressman.
Instead, this election will focus on local government offices, such as county mayor, sheriff, trustee, school board, commissioners, and constables.
Granted, these elections don’t always produce the dazzle-dazzle of a presidential contest, but some of them have been exciting and have evoked some heated competition. They and their supporters have been out there attending events on a daily basis, knocking on doors, and electioneering during the weeks and days leading up to Tuesday’s primary.
For anyone who has doubts, remember this: People who hold offices such as county mayor or commissioner can propose policies or vote on issues that will affect your life – ranging from what you can do with your property to how your tax dollars are spent.
These people have the power to make our world kinder or crueler, to continue to let people eke out a living or give them the resources to thrive. Because of this, local elections are beyond important.

The judges we elect have the power to imprison people or give them freedom. The attorney general has the power to prosecute drug offenders and other criminals or let them go without consequences. People on the Board of Education can fight for more funding, or advocate for teachers’ and students’ safety. The county mayor oversees audits, taxes, and financial reports to ensure that money is being appropriated and used properly in our county. And it’s actually commissioners who make decisions about where local money goes — it’s important to note that you can attend public hearings to express your concerns to commissioners – and those decisions can help or hurt people, especially the most marginalized.
Always know what you’re voting for and how it will affect your wallet or other aspects of your life.
There’s an old saying that professes if you don’t vote, you don’t count.

Voting is the best way to make sure your voice is heard when it comes to how your local government should operate.
County mayor, commissioners, school board members, sheriff, trustee – all of these people have a very large impact on the daily functions of our county, including your protection, the education your children will receive, how your tax money is spent, the kinds of roads you drive on, etc.
While local elections may feel insignificant because they are not as widely talked about as our presidential elections, they absolutely are not. In fact, they may matter more than presidential elections. Local elections help you to voice concerns you have about your state and county as well as give your opinion to those in charge. This has a direct impact on your life. In your local elections, votes count far significantly more, so it is important to be informed and to vote.
Before you vote, know your candidate. Also, take the information you are given into consideration to help you make an informed decision.
Considering bias and intent is important when it comes to the information you are collecting to make your decision about voting.
Look at the advertisements you are consuming — who is putting them out, and where is the information coming from? You should also look at the candidates’ previous histories and if that can be put to good use in the positions they are running for.

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Know your candidate and what they are for and against. This will help make you a better voter.
Local government is the closest government to all of us. Thus, it’s crucial for every voter to understand the importance of local elections. From judges to sheriffs, commissioners to county clerks, state and local offices deserve just as much consideration as the president.
If you are eligible to vote Tuesday, please accept your civic responsibility and do so.