Editorial: Why local elections matter

The ISD Editorial Board explains the importance of local elections and lists ways we can become more informed voters. 

The ISD Editorial Board explains the importance of local elections and lists ways we can become more informed voters. 

Editorial Board

Editor’s Note: Editorials are representative of the views of all Editorial Board members. One or two members will compile these views and write an editorial.

Being an informed citizen is important. Knowing what is happening in your county, city, state, region and country is essential, as it impacts nearly every aspect of your daily life. Local elections allow you to vote on who is in charge of your city and school system. In local elections, we vote for mayor, city council, county commissioner, district attorney and school board. All of these people have a very large impact on the daily functions of your city, including the education your children will receive. 

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 city as well as give your opinion to those in charge. This has a direct impact on your life. In your local elections, votes count for significantly more, so it is important to be informed and to vote. 

How can you become an informed voter? 

  1. Learn about the candidates.  

Knowing information about the candidates is important. You should learn about the candidates and key issues of the election, as well as the positions the candidates are running for. Having knowledge of this information is essential in you being able to make a well-informed decision in the voting process. Personally, we would not recommend cramming all of the information in at once. Spend time throughout the election season learning about the candidates so you can have a well-rounded perspective. 

  1. 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. 

Using these first two steps is a great step to becoming an informed voter. Once you have become a bit more informed, you can do other things to be an even better voter. 

Voting is the most important step in the whole process. Making sure you know how you can be registered to vote is important, as well as knowing the options you have in terms of voting. Do you have to go in person or is an absentee ballot an option? 

Once you know you are registered and how to vote, you need to get out and vote. Staying an informed citizen is important, and your votes matter.