Don't Worry About the President
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Politics and Activism

Don't Worry About the President

How state and local politics are matter more to you than the White House.

Don't Worry About the President

Over the past 18 months, the country has grown increasingly divided. An unnerving presidential election with every surprise imaginable and some that were unimaginable.

Although the presidential election absorbed the attention of most Americans, many state elections went unnoticed. For instance, in the state of West Virginia six executive offices were up for election in 2016 but there was hardly any news on the subject. Most notably on campus, where you can find Bernie buttons, “I’m with her,” T-shirts, and laptops with very noticeable Trump sticker on them, there were just a handful of signs posted for local and state offices.

In West Virginia, only 49.3 percent of eligible voters voted in the general election according to Statisicsbrain. Per usual, the voter turnout in a presidential election year is higher than during an off year. According to a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin, only 22 percent of eligible voters voted in state and local elections across the United States during an odd year.

This is unfortunate due to the profound effect that local and state politics has on the average citizen. Congress and the president rarely impact the everyday lives of US citizens. Such things as education, transportation, and infrastructure are all mainly controlled at the state level, especially taxes. So long as a state law doesn’t contradict the constitution, the state can pass it.

As the Current, a student-run newspaper from Nova Southeastern University, explains, “They [locally elected officials] are the buffer between what citizens want and how to get what they want to be done, so not voting in local elections is not only undemocratic, but it is also counter-productive.”

When voting in state and local elections, many Americans who believe that their vote does not count can see their vote have an impact on the outcome of an election.

Our country is a republic, a there for a few elected officials represent the people. In West Virginia, state laws rarely involve the participation of citizens of the state. The only way West Virginians truly contribute to the legislative process in the state is through their vote for a candidate.

As for local elections, the city of Morgantown supports a City Manager-Council form of government. All city council seats are up for reelection every two years, with the next election being held in 2017. The City Council, composed of seven members representing the seven wards of Morgantown, acts as the legislative body. The Interim City Manager, Glen Kelly, is appointed by the City Council and is responsible for carrying out the policy created by the Council.

The state of West Virginia Democratic businessman Jim Justice recently won the governor’s seat over Rep. State Senate President Bill Cole, Rep. John B. McCuskey was elected as State Auditor, Rep. incumbent Patrick Morrisey was elected Attorney General, and Dem. Incumbent John Perdue was elected State Treasurer.

Republicans in West Virginia control both the state Senate and the House of Delegates for the first time since the 1930s. The state currently has a divided government.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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