by Abbie Guillen, staff writer
Voter turnout matters. And now that the mid-terms are here, it’s time to get out and vote.
Low voter turnout is most prominent in local, midterm, and primary elections because most people seem to care about presidential elections. Presidential elections usually have a higher voter turnout, with about a million more people voting in those elections compared to local ones. This difference in turnout may seem to make sense at a first glance, as deciding who will be president is an important decision; however, when digging deeper, it turns out that midterm, local, and primary elections hold the same amount of importance, if not more.
What is a midterm election?
During midterm elections, people vote for representatives in congress. These elections occur every four years, two years after each presidential election.
This election, although not as publicized as presidential elections, holds a great deal of importance. Representatives for each state will be deciding what legislation gets passed for the next two years. Although a president does make many important decisions, the House of Representatives and the Senate actually hold more power in law making. They will decide if the president’s proposals go through.
What is a primary election?
For both midterm and presidential elections, there is a primary election. The primary election precedes the general election. During a primary, voters decide who, from their political party, will represent their party in the general election.
Primary elections give more power to voters to decide who will eventually win each election. Many people complain of not having any good choices for candidates during general elections, so, if you have ever had that thought, it may be good to consider voting in the primaries for each election.
What is a local election?
Local elections can occur at anytime throughout the year, but many are held at the same time as midterms, with state amendments and propositions on the ballot. These can include making decisions on how the state spends money, whether to increase or decrease taxes, new state programs, and many other things. During local elections, you may be voting on governors, mayors, judges, and other local officials.
Although the federal government does make many sweeping decisions for the United States, being able to vote on what happens at a state level can make a big difference, as there are still many things left up to the state’s discretion.
Being able to make change at the state level is a powerful thing.