Looking at local elections

Looking at local elections

For the past two months, Grand Valley State University has teamed up with multiple student organizations to promote voter registration for the upcoming presidential election. In a presidential election year, the stakes for young voters to make their voices heard couldn’t be higher. 

However, while voting is important, it’s the bare minimum a U.S. citizen could do to participate in the electoral process. A few Lakers among us have gone above and beyond to make a difference but recognizing those who are on the ballots is equally, if not more, important. 

Three GVSU students will be focused on campaigning for their own elections during this year’s election. The Lanthorn commends these students for truly taking the steps to create change and become involved in local government despite being significantly younger than many other candidates. 

This presidential election cycle has be filled with vitriolic remarks made by and about the two major candidates for the presidency. More column inches than anyone cares to add up have been devoted to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. These two candidates have taken part in an increasingly polarizing campaign, turning away many voters that are displeased with both their traditional choices for president. However, that’s no reason to stay at home on election day.

Even if students decide they do not prefer any of the presidential candidates, the local elections are still important to recognize and take part in voting for. Rather than giving up on the democratic process in its entirety, try researching representatives running for school board and local legislative positions and take notice of local millages and ballot proposals. Although electing a new president is an important change, there are other issues to project citizens’ voices on to as well. 

Often, the local issues on a ballot are far more relevant to daily community life than who sits in the Oval Office. Those individuals on city councils, behind a judicial bench or on a school board make immediate decisions that impact citizens in a more tangible way than national governmental laws. 

While not every Laker can run for election in their hometowns, the participation in the electoral process being taken by these three GVSU students should set the bar for fellow students. Being an informed voter is the least an American can do, and it’s vital that political research doesn’t stop just at the top of the ticket.