The Freelance Traveller (freetrav) wrote,
The Freelance Traveller

A Way-Off Year - So What?

It's an odd-numbered year this year - 2007. That means that there are no Congressional elections, no Senate elections, no Presidential election. Turnout for elections like this one are usually low, because people figure that these elections don't matter. I have one word for such people:


These way-off-year elections are at least as important as the ones that get the heavy press; they may even be more important - because these are the elections that are most likely to have the biggest effect on your day-to-day life - where are the bus lines going to go? how often are they going to run? what's the fare going to be? how much road construction will there be to disrupt your commute? what's the sales tax going to be? what's the property tax rate going to be? are they going to let BigBox build a store where the ballfields are? what are the zoning laws going to allow - or prevent - in the way of new stores, new homes, new churches, new schools? how big will classes in the schools be? how much will the teachers be paid? will there be adequate textbooks and supplies? will there be vending machines in the school? what will they contain?

Voting now tells your elected officials and your community how you want these questions to be considered - the actual decisions will be made in their own time, but now, you need to decide who is making them. Certainly, the "important" elections set the tone for everything else - but tone isn't everything, and what happens at the state and local levels modifies the overall tone set by the last national elections - or acts as a signal of the mood for the next national elections.

How often have you heard that your vote doesn't matter? How often have you said it? This year, there's no question that that's wrong - this is the year that you can make a difference, to yourself and to your neighbors. Don't waste the opportunity. Go to the polls and cast your ballot.

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