The Importance of Voting in the Off-Cycle
We urge you to get out and make a difference in your community by voting today. Take the opportunity to vote and be a part of the change in our area.
Today on the blog, we’re featuring Randi Hewit. Her many roles in the community radiate her passion and love for our area. She shares the importance of this day, and all that it entails.
Every four years, the country has election fever. Between the lengthy primary season, the conventions, and the debates, you cannot escape the presidential election cycle.
Then come the midterms. Those are the elections held two years into a presidential term. Often considered a vote for or against the agenda of the sitting president, these contests tend to get a fair amount of coverage. It’s also a great time to pay a lot of attention to the House of Representatives, which can radically change overnight.
But you have to look a lot harder to find election chatter during the off-cycle years – those (literally) odd years between the big deal and the medium deal that are presidential and midterm cycles. When it comes to elections, these are the deep tracks.
With few statewide and national races to cover, the 24-hour-news machine isn’t standing outside of polling places and monitoring exit polls like my daughter waiting for the latest Taylor Swift album to drop. You don’t see many yard signs. It can be easy to miss Election Day altogether.
Sadly, this lack of interest in off-cycle elections is a big problem for our democratic institutions. Because when it comes to your day-to-day existence, the odd-year elections really matter. The local races for mayor, city council, and county legislative seats elect the people that set the tone for your community. If you feel strongly about snow removal, want a more walkable city, or would love a dog park, these are the folks you have to call.
If you don’t pay attention, your city council could easily be stacked with people that think it is fine to wait until noon to plow your neighborhood, proclaim walking is a waste of time, or (gasp!) are cat people.
They are also charged with acting on the agenda set in Albany or D.C., which can be – and often is – intentionally vague for the express purpose of leaving as much policy in the hands of local leaders as possible. If you don’t like the way politics play out on a statewide or national level, it is your obligation to elect local candidates that will behave differently in your community.
So mark your calendar for Election Day EVERY YEAR. It is always the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. Strange, right? Luckily, we live in a time where there is pretty much an app or website for anything. Head to vote.org to sign up for election reminders.
And, good news, Election Day is TODAY! Polls are open until 9:00 p.m. in Chemung, Steuben, and Schuyler Counties. Get out and VOTE!
(Don’t let the cat people win.)
Get out and vote!