The Maroon

Editorial: Voting in local elections is important

Back to Article
Back to Article

Editorial: Voting in local elections is important

(AP Photo/John Minchillo) Photo credit: Associated Press

(AP Photo/John Minchillo) Photo credit: Associated Press


(AP Photo/John Minchillo) Photo credit: Associated Press



(AP Photo/John Minchillo) Photo credit: Associated Press

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Around this time last year student organizations were hosting debate watch parties, setting up tables to help students get absentee ballots and professors would often spend a little time tying their lectures back to political happenings.

That’s because there was a major election coming up, and in just a couple of weeks there’s another one – one that probably will have a more direct impact on your life than any presidential election ever did.

Haven’t you heard?

Well, unless you expect a congressional shift in the 2018 midterms to fix the pothole outside your house, better start listening.

New Orleans, the city many of our students now call home more than the places they grew up, is about to hold its municipal elections.

The results will decide who will be mayor for the next four years, who will serve on the City Council and what the policies will be on everything from public safety to the water that we drink.

That’s a pretty big deal, and while you don’t hear roundtable discussions about it on 24-hour cable news, you do hear discussions around the community about it. If you’ve ever driven down one of New Orleans’ streets, you’ve probably been in one of those yourself.

This is the truest form of governance – a community coming together on October 14 to decide how we’re going to proceed, and where partisanship (for the most part) doesn’t matter.

And it’s not just in New Orleans where this is happening.

In towns and cities across the country, the same issues will be discussed and candidates will give their pitches on what should be done going forward.

It is in elections such as these that our cities are shaped – not national ones. These elections also offer the opportunity to meet and discuss the issues with candidates face-to-face, an opportunity few are lucky to have with national candidates, who, let’s face it, only seem to talk with everyday people in front of the cameras to look more personable.

That is not to say that national elections aren’t important. I think we’re all in agreement that we don’t want nuclear war, and that it’s an issue all of us should be aware of and care about. So, yeah, definitely keep on voting in national elections.

But, if you haven’t yet, start voting in local ones. The turnout in these is usually abysmal, despite the fact that the impacts on communities are huge.

So no matter where you’re from – be it New Orleans, another part of Louisiana or somewhere out of state – check with your registrar of voters. See if there’s going to be an election this fall, educate yourself on the issues and let your voice be heard. Request an absentee ballot if you have to.

And if you find yourself feeling connected to New Orleans and want to plant some roots here, consider changing your registration to where you’re living in the city. It can even be done if you live in the dorms. It’s easy – just go to the Louisiana Secretary of State website (link), fill out a little information and you’re ready to go for the next election.

If you were hoping to vote in the October mayoral election, though, it’s a little too late, since the deadline to register for that one has already passed. But don’t worry, you can rest assured that there will be changes the new mayor wants for the city that will appear on the next ballot.

So if you want your voice to be heard in New Orleans, or if you still want to impact wherever it is you call home, start educating yourself now. And, most importantly, vote.

Because otherwise, at least in this city, you might find yourself swimming home.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Since 1923 • For a greater Loyola
Editorial: Voting in local elections is important