A Project for Better Journalism chapter

How important are local elections?

There is a common misconception about elections. People seem to think that only presidential elections matter, but that is not the case. In fact, presidential elections are so broad that the issues or policies might not even affect your state. States can create, implement, and enforce their own laws. The US Constitution grants states the power to create laws and regulate them according to their own needs.

The upcoming midterm election is more important than many in recent years. Some young people did not register to vote because they think these elections do not matter. We march and have protests all the time, but our voice doesn’t matter until we try to vote our leaders in. We have no right to complain if we don’t educate ourselves on the candidates, volunteer, and vote if we are 18. We live in a politically tense climate; everyone has an opinion about something, but opinions will remain opinions without action.

All 435 seats in the House are up for grabs this election year. Elections for governors, House of Delegates and Circuit Court judges are taking place on November 6. Go out and vote. If you are not 18 yet, you can volunteer. A lot of the politicians will appreciate it and you will gain valuable experience. Your future is in your hands. Would you rather go and be a productive member of your community or sit on your butt and complain about the elected officials? Make the right decision.