The importance of local elections

Printed in the Bloomington Herald-Times, March 07, 2016 (Comments)

To the Editor:

The most unfortunate thing about local elections in Bloomington and Monroe County is how few people care about them. Look at last year’s city elections. In a city of 80,000 people, only about 8,100 people bothered to turn out to vote. We have a mayor elected with less than 6,300 votes – a dominating landslide to be sure, but still a tiny minority of the city’s population.

This is despite the fact that city and county government affect your life much more directly and much more frequently than the state or federal government. Think about it: Snow removal, trash pickup, police and fire protection, parks and much more are controlled by city government. And while local government has the biggest impact on your life, each individual vote matters much more in local elections than in state or national elections.

The national elections take up a lot of airtime, but if an individual voter wants to have a voice in public policy, local government is the place where that influence is strongest.

No matter how you vote, please study the local candidates and local issues, and vote for the candidates of your choice in every election – especially city elections!

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