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Local elections—Why bother!

Updated: Apr 22

Well, simply put, because they’re important. Maybe more important than the highly partisan, hourly media-covered, national elections of recent years. In 2020’s presidential election, 67% of registered voters cast ballots, yet on average among our 350 largest cities, less than 15% of eligible voters cast a ballot at the municipal level.


Appalling! For entertainment value, the quadrennial contest between Democrats and Republicans just can’t be beat…but for the incessant ads that broadcast media enrich themselves from. Yet, for pure impact on our daily lives, local elections are much more determinative. Consider school tax levies, mayoral and city council races, propositions of all sorts have on our daily lives, and you’ll wonder why more attention isn’t given to off-year local elections. Perhaps it’s too hard to learn about the issues or candidates, maybe there’s little time devoted to it in print and broadcast media. But whatever the reason, local elections are as important as national elections.


Local elections are where the rubber meets the road. It’s where many landmark policies like women’s suffrage, marriage equality, civil and environmental protections got their start. But it requires participation from all segments of the community. Nationally, the 18- to 24-year-old demographic has the lowest turnout, and the 65 and older voters have the highest. The decisions made in local elections will have a greater impact on the younger electorate over a longer time than the older citizen. The oft-quoted complaint among older voters about school tax increases, that “I already paid for my kid’s education,” belies the fact that younger families depend on quality education for their children. It’s where one’s vote will count more, but you must cast it!


To help our readers with their voting decisions, we include here a few resources for your reading pleasure. It is NON-PARTISAN, as local elections are. Also, we include links to check your registration and polling locations. And please, don’t forget to vote April 12, 2022. Polls are open from 7am-7pm.




John Durajczyk, Minnehaha County Democratic Party member


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