Those who engage in local elections are serving their community. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday.
Believe it or not, we have elections this year.
That’s right, city and municipal elections loom, and you need to make sure your voice is heard. Tuesday is the last day to register for the primary phase of the elections, so make sure you’re signed up. You can go to the secretary of state’s website or KSVotes.org to do so.
Off-year elections aren’t glamorous, to put it mildly. Yet these could easily end up being the elections that affect your day-to-day life the most.
After all, local officials run the cities or towns where you live. They run local services and set local tax rates. They oversee education systems where your children go every day during the school year. To put it simply, they’re the ones who fix the potholes on your street.
So why don’t more people participate in these elections? Why don’t more people run for these offices?
The reasons are unfortunately manifold. National coverage of politics has become a spectator sport, and while everyone knows the president’s name, few likely know the names of their city commissioners. Like most things that are bad for us, this national focus can be exciting and addictive, but it’s not particularly constructive.
Many of us move more often, which means that we may lack connections in the places we live. We might not think these offices matter if we’re planning to pack up and head to another city in a year or two.
And finally, the mechanics of local government aren’t exactly exciting every moment. Passing a bond issue or upgrading a sewage treatment center can seem dry.
But here’s the thing: None of this is a game. Life isn’t entertainment. Your municipality doesn’t owe you a hilarious prime-time situation comedy. It doesn’t owe you a gripping drama, either.
Rather, it owes you a well-run government and efficient public services. And if you want to make sure those happen, you should register to vote and brush up on local issues.
Service can sound old-fashioned these days, but that’s what we’re talking about. Candidates for these local offices are stepping up to serve. And those who engage in local elections are doing their modest part to serve as well.
Make sure to register. Learn about the issues and candidates. And then, please, vote.