what's a voice if it doesn't speak? 4 reasons you need to be concerned about your local elections (and not just the presidential one)

in many conversations about politics, people tend to focus on the presidential election. this election, while important, is not the only election you should focus on. in fact, focusing only on the presidential election has led to the downfall of the black community over the years. with unemployment rates growing and crime (in some areas) spreading, a president cannot change that, but your city council can. your county board can. hell, even your elected judges can. bottom line is, voting is more than just electing a president. here are reasons you should consider letting your vote be heard not just regarding the president of the not so united states of america, but your local elections as well. written by d'angelo taylor.

4). the president has little bearing on your everyday life. 

the president has more power internationally with his/her ability to make agreement (treaties) with other countries than they do domestically. so when you head to the polls, ask yourself what are the issues facing yourself or your community. nine times out of ten, the president cannot alleviate those actions. for example, potholes in your streets or lack of employment in your neighborhood are not controlled by one person. those issues are controlled by folks who actually live in your community. hold them accountable at the ballot because for many of them, that office is their livelihood. 

3). it prevents the donald trump effect. 

there are a lot of people who believe that donald trump is the worst presidential candidate to ever seek the office; and they are right. however, the ironic part is that many of those people have been the foundation of his rise. think about it. whether liberal or conservative, by not voting and holding political candidates accountable for their actions or lack thereof, the electorate essentially allowed for trump’s legitimacy. trump speaks about how politicians are only out for themselves and how they do not represent the interests of their constituents. trump, is in fact right. with that knowledge and the lack of voting, he commanded the greatest hostile takeover in american political history. yeah, it is some bs. 

2). elections are barometers. 

congressional house officials are usually reelected around the ninety percent range, but their favorability ratings are usually below fifty percent. how does this happen? well, house members understand that they are running every other year, but the voter does not. during off-year elections (non-presidential elections), there is drastic decline in voter turnout. think about it, if I can get elected in 2016 and bring forth one decent bill, as long as i avoid a monumental scandal, i probably will not have to run a tough race until 2020. politicians understand this, but voters do not. 

1). voting is a right. 

if you are not voting, it’s safe to say that you are neglecting historic and modern-day society. people are dying (yes, dying) for the right to cast a ballot. however, there are still some people who believe that elections are rigged so they refuse to vote. make no mistake, elections are rigged by people who donate millions to control the system. how can one change that? well, it begins with changing the laws and disrupting the status quo. think about it this way, you have just purchased a new outfit and you are ready to step out, but before you do, someone intentionally spills food on your outfit. first, you may be pissed off. second, you may also want to smack the person. finally, you will probably stay in for the night. now, apply that to politics. someone is controlling your right to vote by spilling money all over it. what will you do? i hope that you choose to smack them by voting to change the system which suppresses you. 


d'angelo is the assistant director of the multiculural center at the university of southern indiana. his premiere book, a political life: black culture, civic engagement, education and hope, is now available for purchase on amazon.