Commentary

08.12.16

Voting Local Has A Big Impact On Issues You Care About

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Vote Road Sign 16

The last days of July marked the end to both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have risen as their parties’ presidential nominees for November’s general election.

But limiting November’s general election to just the presidential race is short-sighted, especially given the open seats in the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and state and municipal races. And despite the lack of media coverage and high dollar advertising, these local races often have the biggest potential to impact our daily lives.

Vote Local

City council members, local prosecutors and judges, state legislators and other local leaders make decisions every day that directly impact our communities. Local and state leaders have more direct influence on mass incarceration; which schools, hospitals, and roads receive state funding for improvement and upgrades; or the expansion of much needed health care and social services. Overlooking these elected officials or local ballot measures that affect the well-being of our communities reduces our ability to make change and to infuse our political and social systems with our beliefs and values.

A president has the power to sign and veto legislation, command the armed forces and ask for the written opinion of the Cabinet. These powers, while great, are often balanced against the U.S. Supreme Court and Congress. The ability for the president to affect change must be done in concert with the other branches, which can take time, and is often onerous and subject to much partisan negotiating and compromise.

Voting is not for the rich, educated or informed, it’s for all individuals who have sought to change the face of history by sitting at the table and re-writing the legacy.

Meanwhile, more immediate changes can often be seen at the local level by everyday citizens urging their state representatives, city councils, and municipal leaders. These leaders can help institute a fair minimum wage, repeal antiquated drug laws that unnecessarily penalize people with first-time, nonviolent offenses, or provide much-needed human and social services for impoverished families on a state and local level. Sometimes pushing for local action can be far easier than pushing for federal laws that fail to account for local needs.

Get Registered, Get Results

Getting our leaders to take action, can be as simple as casting a ballot. Yes – a ballot – on Tuesday, November 8th! On Election Day we will have the opportunity to use our voices and elect officials on all levels of government, and to decide local or state propositions.

Visit our Vote Center for more information on registration, identification, and ways to vote.

First, every Ohio resident will need to register with their county board of elections by filling out a voter registration form.. After completing, signing and mailing your registration form to your local board of elections, you will have several ways to vote. You can vote by mail by submitting an absentee ballot, vote early in-person at your local board of elections, or at your local precinct on Election Day. When voting in-person, please ensure you have these acceptable forms of ID.

The deadline for voter registration is Tuesday, October 11th. Do not miss the deadline! You can also find information about other important dates at our Vote Center.

Exercising your voice at the ballot isn’t just a vote for our next president, or a handful of U.S. Senators and Representatives, but leaders on all levels of government. Voting is not for the rich, educated or informed, it’s for all individuals who have sought to change the face of history by sitting at the table and re-writing the legacy.

Do you want the old legacy or a new one?

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