In case you haven’t heard, today is Election Day!
Coincidentally, it’s also my birthday, as was Election Day, 1964, on my ninth birthday. One of my most vivid childhood memories is trying to convince my piano teacher that November 3 was highlighted on the calendar that year because it was my birthday, not because it was Election Day. Therefore, I reasoned, we should postpone my lesson on my birthday because it was a holiday. Suffice it to say, I was about as successful in that attempt as my piano lessons were on the whole. Which explains why, today, I’m barely able to identify the keys on a piano, much less play any more than the melody line of a song I’m already familiar with.
On a more serious note (no pun intended) today is, of course, Election Day. If you didn’t take advantage of mail-in or early voting, where it was available, and haven’t yet voted today, I encourage you to carve out part of your day to go to the polls.
Local elections matter
Beyond the very visible, high profile races for President and Congress (have you turned the TV on or opened your mailbox any time in the past two months?), most jurisdictions have equally important state and local races on the ballot.
If you work for, or receive service from, a municipal or county utility, the people who ultimately determine policies and set rates for your utility may be on the ballot today. These elected officials, and the decisions they make, may have more of an impact on your day to day life than the more high profile national races will. Local elections also often include referendums on taxes or bond issues that can have a direct impact on your taxes and the services offered by the locality.
In a local election, with far fewer total voters than state and national races, your vote matters even more. If you think your vote doesn’t matter (and many people feel that way), here’s an article from NPR highlighting a number of close races where every vote mattered.
If you’ve already voted, thank you! If you haven’t, please find time to do so before the polls close tonight.