March 1 kicks off the election season with primary voting. The general elections follow this November, and the presidential candidates are taking all the attention.
This is choosing the most powerful leader in the free world, so understandably there is a certain level of excitement for this. The national elections are not where our vote has the biggest impact— that comes from the local elections.
A student registers to vote in October 2015 at the Harvin Center on Del Mar College’s East Campus.
Guy Watts was elected to serve on the District 4 Board of Regents, and he has served for the last three terms. We cannot vote Watts out of office this November, but we can use him as an example as to why we should take our local elections more seriously.
It can be a little hard to believe at times that your vote is important in national elections because of the millions upon millions of people who cast their vote, but locally your vote holds the most power.
Watts’ term doesn’t end until 2020, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still elect other people locally that can help our cause.
Local elections are where you individually can make the most impact; ironically they get the lowest turnout.
The people we elect locally can shape the culture of our city. Issues like fixing our roads, grafitti, tourism and keeping our beaches clean are not going to the office of the president; those kinds of things get taken care of by our local officials. Only 11 percent of Nueces County residents voted in the 2014 elections where Watts was re-elected.