For many of our readers, local elections are approaching quickly. You’ve likely received a postcard in the mail, instructing you where to go to cast your ballot for the primary on Tuesday, August 6 and for the general election on Tuesday, November 5.
I work in local government and am fortunate to see firsthand, day-in and day-out, how YOUR vote makes an impact on YOUR community. Sadly, voter turnout is typically low for local elections. For example, in Johnson County, only 29% of voters cast ballots for the August 2018 primary. That means 29% of the people in your community are having a say in who gets to be in office and make decisions for ALL of you. Do you feel comfortable with that? Honestly, I hope you don’t. You shouldn’t. We all have a real responsibility and right to have our say about the direction of our communities. I don’t think people realize how much local elections matter. Your Councilmembers, Mayors, School Board members and other local elected officials are the people making decisions about the streets you drive on every day, the parks you play in, the trails you walk on, the schools your children attend, the officers who patrol your neighborhoods, the firefighters working to keep our communities safe, and so much more.
I’m begging you. Do your research on the local candidates, make the decision on who best represents your thoughts and values, and, by all means, GO VOTE FOR THOSE PEOPLE. Not only are the polls open from 7am-7pm on Election Day, but you can Advance Vote if that is more convenient! There are fabulous online resources that are very helpful in the election process, depending on where you live. Below are a few. If we’ve missed your community, comment below and we’ll find a resource for you!
Find out who the candidates are, check out a sample ballot, find your polling place and much more at your County Election Office website.
As a mom, I love taking my kids to the polls with me so they can start to witness and understand what an honor and responsibility it is to participate in democracy. Plus, they get the fun “Future Voter” sticker. Be a role model for your kids. Show them how to be engaged, knowledgeable, and to take an active role in their communities. As I often say, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.