One term that many politicos absolutely loathe is the term “off-year elections”. For even the average voter, no such thing exists. Every single year, whether odd or even numbered, hosts an election cycle consisting of the primary and general. While PACs may save their millions for President and media will greenlight Senate races on a daily basis, very rarely do pundits and politicians give much sight towards the judicial, municipal, and county level races. While many think that the federal government impacts your daily life the most, the opposite remains true. Mayors, county commissioners, district judges, etc easily affect the lives of Americans most directly.
On average, elections on odd-numbered years are considered “lucky” to break 20% voter turnout. On a Presidential year, seeing 50% of voters turn out is considered low. While every election remains important, it is dangerous to think that unless mainstream media and special interests dump billions into coverage and advertising that the general populous turns a blind eye to our judicial and municipal systems.
Municipal government directly affects the everyday lives of everyone residing in said city. While a Senator or Governor may pass legislation affecting a population en masse, it takes time to see the effects of a policy implemented by them. However, the Mayor of a city can easily micromanage and pass policies that cause an almost immediate reaction following the passage of bills.
Scary, too, are that the judicial races receive lesser attention than even that of the city, yet impact people the most directly of every position. District Judges, Superior Court Judges, state Supreme Court Judges and so on directly deal with criminal and civil cases and cast the verdict on those people, literally impacting the lives of the thousands of people who present their legal cases to them.
As stated earlier, every election remains important. However, brushing the ones that affect you most directly under the rug benefits nobody. While the city council chamber may not look as flashy as the United States Capitol, you can get to know local representatives personally and express your concerns to them. They will genuinely listen to you and help make a better community for you, your neighbors, and everyone.
Follow @MattZupon on Twitter. He is an editor, Facebook manager, and writer for The University Conservative.