Although local elections don’t usually carry all the glitz and glam of elections during a Presidential Election year, this Election Day is still very important. Exercising your right to vote means voicing your opinion and having a say in what is happening in your own hometown and community as well as your state. Tuesday, Nov. 7 is Election Day, so be sure to get to your local poll and cast your vote.
Local elections affect your life more directly than many of the national offices. Local politicians such as School Directors determine the quality of your local public school through decisions regarding things such as budgeting, administration, athletics, academics, and more. Your local council members determine ordinances in your town/city/borough and determine policies on public safety. Some of the legislation handled by your local officials include property taxes, garbage and recycling fees, maintenance of your home/sidewalks and more. So, these officials’ decisions more directly affect your everyday life than other offices.
Taylor Borough Council Chairperson, Kenneth F. Mickavicz, when asked about the importance of voting tomorrow said, “You have a better chance of influencing legislation when you participate in voting locally and are active in local politics. Your local officials are the people you see when you’re in the grocery store or when you take your kids to school; you know them and they know you, so vote for honorable individuals with integrity and you can make a difference in your community.”
According to Rock the Vote, “women’s suffrage, minimum wage, environmental protection, and marriage equality all began at the local and state level.” Things tend to move from bottom up, so the individuals elected at the local and state levels really can make a difference and influence policies carried out by our federal government.
Judge Maria McLaughlin, a candidate for the Pennsylvania Superior Court, said, when asked why getting to vote tomorrow is so important, “I think in today’s climate, more than ever, we as citizens have a responsibility to vote. If you want to take part in deciding who will be impacting your life on a daily basis, you need to vote!”
Pennsylvania State Representative Sid Michaels Kavulich of the 114th Legislative District said, “Elections are the privilege of the people to truly have their say in government. In our democracy, that should be held sacred by the voters. In many countries, the citizens cannot elect those they choose to lead them. That is why we need to exercise the right to cast our ballot and make our voice heard.”
Judge Julia Munley of Lackawanna County up for re-election said, “I think it is important to vote in local elections because who we choose to put into those positions can directly impact our lives and our family’s lives in so many ways in comparison to national or even statewide elections where the effect may not be as immediate.” She also said, “One’s vote always matters and should never be taken for granted. Women suffragettes fought and protested long and hard to have the right to vote as did African-Americans not so long ago. It is crucial that as Americans each of us exercise our right to vote and have a voice in our Democratic system of government, whether in the local election, statewide or national.”
Local and state elections are just as, if not more, important than national level elections. So, exercise your right, voice your opinion and get out and vote.
Our country is divided right now and many are not happy about the people leading our nation, but we can make changes be electing honest, well-rounded, experienced politicians to represent our local communities and our state. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day and change doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve got to start somewhere, and these local and state elections are a crucial element to making a difference.