If you are an adult living in the United States, chances are you have been encouraged to vote more times in the past 48 hours than seems humane.
This is not one of those, I promise.
I too would love a hiatus from the inundation, as important as I believe voting to be. What I haven’t heard or seen enough of, though, is encouragement to vote that either: A) might actually persuade someone who isn’t intending to vote, or B) restores some sense of control to those of us who feel impuissant about the current political landscape.
Whichever side you fall on, there is one big reason to show up to the polls on Tuesday (if you haven’t already cast your ballot) —
1// Numerically Speaking, Your Local Vote Carries the Most Weight
Whether you live in rural Vermont or downtown Manhattan, your vote for a local official makes up a greater part of the total whole than your vote for President. It’s a simple principle of division: Smaller denominator = more individual voter power.
2// Local Officials Make Decisions on What Affects Us Most Day-to-Day
Do you take public transit to work? Pay property taxes? Send your children to a local school? Been stopped by or had to call the Police? City and State Officials are responsible for all of it. The Mayor/City Manager performs the Executive functions; the City Council or Commissioners implement the Legislative, and the District Attorney or City Attorney execute Legal functions.
3// States Have Agency to Interpret and Enforce many Federal Policies
What issue matters the most to you? Abortion? Climate Change? Marijuana legalization? With a few exceptions, states often have the autonomy that allows them to determine how to interpret and enforce Federal regulations within their state.
It would be impossible to do more than scratch the surface of these dynamics in a blog post. Nevertheless, my hope is to succinctly share a few reasons why individual voters have more power than we often realize. And if you’re not sure who’s on your ballot, check out BallotPedia’s Sample Ballot generator based on your zip code
So please don’t make the mistake of overlooking down-ballot elections. They just might be the most influence you have.