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Why do you think it’s important to vote in local elections?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on April 3, 2007

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Photo of Kathy Barland

“It’s important because our city government should represent the will of the people who live here rather than a few individuals who feel they have the power to run the city.”

Photo of Miles Kim

“As far as politics go, it’s on the local level that they affect us immediately.”

Photo of Leah Newman

“So you have the right to complain about the local government. If you don’t vote, then you don’t have the right to complain.”

Photo of Jordan Kemler

“Because your voice counts. That one vote can make a difference, especially when it’s a smaller election.”


jonas 10 years, 11 months ago


trinity 10 years, 11 months ago

'cos my mama always told me to. and i like to throw in my opinion. :)

Crossfire 10 years, 11 months ago

Leah, Read the First Amendment To The Constitution.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Voting is not required.

davidnta 10 years, 11 months ago

To keep the Bushs, Devers, and Chestnuts from winning.

Crossfire 10 years, 11 months ago

RETICENT_IRREVERENT, You might have the best reason yet...

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

I would override my personal ethics ... for a Klondike bar!

This question needn't be so specific. It could just ask, "Why do you think it's important to vote?"

ms_canada 10 years, 11 months ago

It always amazes me when they give the percentage of those who came out and voted or exercised their franchise as the saying goes. I wonder if it is the non-voters who complain the loudest when things don't go as they think they should. I don't know about Lawrence, but I do know that we have so many apathetic people here who just can't get off their derrieres and as the other saying goes, you get what you deserve. We, who do vote, could do a fair bit to get out and encourage others to vote, especially the youth, like grand kids and kids. Try to convince them of the importance of voting.

badger 10 years, 11 months ago

I think it's incredibly important to vote in local elections. Local politicians determine the day-to-day impact government will have on your life.

Local politicians make the choices that would turn Lawrence into Johnson County West or Topeka East. They make the choices that could protect local businesses so aggressively that the town utterly stagnates, that could pull or add police protection downtown.

They directly affect your property taxes, your children's schools, whether your employer expands or closes your office, how friendly the town is to new business, how well it protects and serves established businesses, and in general all the things that directly determne your quality of daily life.

In a recession economy, when things are scary nationwide, local government can make proactive decisions to help the community recover faster. When zoning decisions threaten the environment, local government can be tougher on polluters than the feds and choose to keep the community cleaner than law requires. When interests outside of town (for you all it's Johnson County; here in Austin it's the Californians and their McMansions) threaten to overrun the community and damage its unique character, good local government can preserve what keeps a community special without stifling growth (hint: Lawrence's has been good about neither part of that for the last few years, stifling good growth and encouraging unhealthy expansion).

A couple of months ago, I e-mailed my City Council with some concerns about a development project in an older Austin neighborhood. I received a personalized return e-mail from one of the Council members that specifically addressed my concerns, not just a form letter explaining why the decision was being made. I'll vote for the woman who sent me the e-mail again, though she and I disagree on the issue, because she took time out to explain how her decision had been made, and why she felt it was good for Austin. She and I disagree on strategy, but we both have a similar vision for Austin and a respect for what makes it special.

Crossfire 10 years, 11 months ago

Pywacket, ...been voting and complaining about the results for a while now... For now I'll just tie down the trigger on the sprayer and see who gets wet first.

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

RI, does your employer know that there is NEVER a line at your voting station? I went in around 12:30 and there were a whopping 35 (or some odd) names on the list. (I also found out that they do wipe the screens down with alcohol every so often.)

I think it's important to vote in local elections so that I can keep in touch with the ladies that run the station. They all ask about my's like a little reunion. Now if I could get them to serve cake or something...

Ceallach 10 years, 11 months ago

I voted over my lunch hour, sadly, I was number 51 at that station. Pitiful, just pitiful.

No cake there either, maybe that would get some voters in, eh?

sunflower_sue 10 years, 11 months ago

RI, did you take your $20 off coupon? I know someone who knows the ammo dept so well that they can guide you over the phone to what you are looking for! :)

Crossfire 10 years, 11 months ago

Humm, Water tricks... Water attacks... Counter-attacks... Sunrise water bombing runs... Mid-night water cannons.... All out water war... ...and the final... Global Thermo-Aquatic Annihilation. No Winner...

sgtwolverine 10 years, 11 months ago

Crossfire, you figured that out much faster than WOPR. I nominate you to beat Matthew Broderick over the head with a chess board.

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