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Your Vote Counts

By Katie Chambers

 

Too many times I hear people say “my vote doesn’t count.” These people could not be more wrong. The problem is people are voting in all the wrong places.

The majority of us tend to follow national politics. This stems from our heavy exposure to major news networks. The presence of a local television station no longer exists and the same goes for local newspapers. Instead our attention shifted to the easily accessible information on NBC, CNN, and FOX. As a result people have become less interested, or perhaps disinterested, in local politics.

Yes, it is easy to vote in national elections, but it is more important to participate in local ones. Any issue or policy effecting residents on a day-to-day basis is handled by the state and local government.

Here’s a piece of advice: If you want education reform you need to start paying attention to what’s going on in Springfield – not in Washington DC.

State elections are determined by where you live and the district you live in. Use this interactive map to locate your district, legislators, and representatives.

Get to know the people on your school boards, park district boards and library boards. They are the ones in your community that make things happen. Politics is a very powerful thing and people who participate in local elections and attend city council meetings are living proof.

You have more power than you think. It is just a matter of learning where to use it.