Election day is right around the corner! Election day, you ask? Didn’t we JUST have an election 6 months ago? Yes, we sure did. It can, indeed, seem like some sort of election cycle is always going on. No sooner had all the Obama and Romney signs finally come down than signs for all sorts of people you’ve probably never heard of replaced them, and probably, depending on the town, in even greater numbers.
These are your LOCAL elections and, although hopefully I’m writing something YOU already know, by the number of people who participate in them, most people apparently are blissfully unaware that –
- Local elections can affect some of the taxes you pay.
- Local elections can help determine which employers move to your area and which ones already there will stay.
- Local elections can affect what freedoms we enjoy, from how our garage sales are conducted to what kinds of pets we can keep and how we must keep them, and so many things in between.
- Local elections can affect how you build or add on to your house or place of business, what sort of signage you are allowed to display, and even whether or not certain types of landscaping must be installed at your business.
- Local elections can affect the cost and efficacy of services like trash pickup and water/sewer.
- Local elections can affect whether your town or county is a surveillance-grid police-state full of traffic cameras and drones, or whether freedom reigns.
- Local elections can even determine how the 2nd Amendment is interpreted in your town.
(Stepping on soap box now – no offense if you skip this paragraph – Besides the obvious highly-publicized gun-control situations in big cities like New York City and Washington DC, consider a small town like Bristol, for example, whose leaders voted to ‘opt out’ of the state ‘guns in parks’ law. Apparently they believe criminals and thugs will obey the laws that keep the law-abiding from legally carrying in our parks. I’ll get off my soap box now, but local elections can, and hopefully are about to, remedy THAT!)
While almost 60% of registered voters turned out for the 2012 presidential elections, only 5-15% will vote in any given local election. Given these statistics, while national elections are certainly vitally important, your vote in a local election actually counts for a whole lot more than your vote in the national election. We as citizens hove more power than we realize, but we MUST wield it!
Now, the last thing I’m advocating is blind, uninformed voting, but what I am advocating is becoming aware of where local candidates stand on issues of importance to you, and getting out there and voting your conscience regarding those issues.
Elections, even local ones, have consequences. Be sure your voice is heard!