Small Dirt Fuels Big Politics

Local political elections are glorified in movie and TV shows as being extremely dirty, but making the correct decisions while voting is detrimental for the stability of the country.

The United States government is a complex body of elected officials seated at different levels of power. Most people only focus on the presidential side of things, but local elections are equally important. Whether it be one of the two senators in a state or the mayor of a small town, voting for the right person is important to improving things in an area or community.

The election process can be difficult for both the people and those up for election. Local elections are glorified in movies like “The Campaign” as extremely dirty and bloody (in the political sense). While all elections can be considered popularity contests driven by smear tactics, some are much dirtier than others, especially in small towns.

“It’s not as tough for me because I have a proven track record,” Antioch Mayor Larry Hanson said. “The biggest challenge is perceiving the difference between fact and fiction. It is easier for me in this mayoral election cycle because I have already been mayor for 8 years and have been on the city council for 22.”

Every high school student is either of voting age or will be the next time a presidential election comes around in 2020. With that being said, it is important that young, first-time voters be informed on the issues that matter.

“Young voters need to pay attention,” Hanson said. “They need to ask questions and only believe facts. Campaigns are full of short, misleading statements and as for local elections, you shouldn’t believe the first thing you hear; always do research. The people that are voted for in local elections are your neighbors, they should build a better community.”

Some of the senior class was able to vote in last year’s presidential elections and the decisions that were made were not easy. Most of the election cycle’s coverage was based around the drama created by Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but Illinois also voted for a new senator as Democrat Tammy Duckworth took on incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk. Duckworth eventually won by a 54.9 percent to 39.8 principal margin. Some Sequoit students had a say in this matter.

“As a person who is about to enter the real world, I felt it necessary to vote the way that I thought was the best for the US Congress,” senior Eston Iman said. “Being educated on down ticket candidates is extremely important and congress has the same amount of power as the President and can make decisions that will alter the country. I tend to lean more on the Conservative viewpoint of government. Most of my decisions and views are things that I’ve fabricated for years. There is little a politician can say that will change the way I vote, it’s all about policy.”

Conducting research on policies and formulation of one’s own opinions is one of the many reasons why democracy works. The elected can only govern at the will of the governed. This being said, many politicians will lie and cheat their way to the top. The most important part in an election is that the interests and rights of the people are protected.