Opinion: Small votes can have large impacts

Voting in local elections is just as important as voting in national elections

Anna Zwahlen, JagWire editor-in-chief, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

With midterm elections having taken place, major political players are in the spotlight of the American people, but what about the others? 

In such an important time like midterms, it can be difficult to reconcile the equal importance of local and national government. In the news, all that seems to be talked about is Senate majorities, House control and the next presidential election. What many fail to remember, especially high schoolers, is that our local government can have large and immediate impacts on our daily lives. 

For instance, in the recent Johnson County elections, Becky Fast was elected as Johnson County Commissioner. This puts her in charge of parks, libraries and other public services. The importance of her position is greater than many acknowledge as she is the first to make sure that Johnson County citizens’ needs are met; in other words, she’s the go-to official for all of your concerns.

Not only are candidates like Fast more directly involved in daily life, but they are also more accessible to those of us in the general population. Mayors, governors and all the way up to senators of districts have tight schedules, making it difficult for citizens like you and me to make sure that our voices are being heard and, most importantly, remembered

It’s candidates like Fast and other local office holders that will remember your voice and even take action on a higher level to make sure that grievances are remedied. 

But what happens when your official doesn’t agree with the issues you raise to them? Where do you go from there? The short answer is to vote for someone who will agree with you. Herein lies the importance of voting, even on a small scale. 

Sure, there are ways to make your voice heard; peaceful protest and demonstration are your constitutional rights. But those rights are insignificant if the individual in charge of making the changes you advocate for doesn’t care to listen to your cause. In order to make your voice heard and your opinions considered, you have to vote into office someone who will consider them, regardless of which side of the political spectrum you fall on.

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