Think a presidential election is only time to vote? The truth is, state and local politics probably affect your day-to-day life more than a presidential race.
Local government involves selecting state representatives, mayors, judges, school board reps, as well as local initiatives, laws, referendums, and amendments. Voting in these elections is a great way to make change happen in the community in front of you.
Make Sure To Register
Make sure you’re registered to vote. If you want to register for a political party (which some states require in order to vote in primaries), research which party best suits you. If you're not ready to commit, just declare yourself unaffiliated.
Senators and Congressmen
Next, make sure you know who your senators and congressmen and women are. Is there an election coming up for one of them? Check their websites to find out.
Then speak up, if you have something to tell them or want something changed, let your elected officials know! Remember, they work for you!
Stay up-to-date on the issues that affect you and upcoming votes by visiting your state’s election office.
Town and city offices
Do you know who your mayor is? How about your town’s treasurer? Auditor?
Search for your city or town’s website to find out who these key officials are and what they do.
Town hall meetings
Check your newspaper and government websites for local committee or town hall meetings. At the meeting, listen and soak in some info, or voice your opinion on the issues being discussed.
Get to know your government
Take political engagement to the next level and volunteer or intern at the mayor's office, local courthouse, or your congressmen’s district office.
Your school is as local as you can get. A student government rep learns how a government works from the inside-out and makes decisions that helps fellow students. Find out about student government at your school. If your school doesn’t have a student government, rally some like-minded kids, talk to a teacher or coach at your school and get it started! You can’t expect others to care about the issues if you don’t!