Use Your Voice and Vote! Why Local Elections Matter

Tomorrow is Election Day.

This year is an “off-cycle” year, meaning you aren’t electing a president, senators, or candidates for any other “major” office. However, the votes you cast tomorrow are even more important, because your vote affects your town, your county, and your schools. 

Use Your Voice and Vote! Why Local Elections MatterFirst, let’s talk about why local elections matter:

  1. There is no level of government more directly responsible for serving your community than your local elected officials. Your local government has a lot of money and influence to direct your community’s priorities and where that money is spent. 
  2. Local governments lead when state and federal governments can’t move quickly enough, or choose not to get involved. Many landmark policies such as women’s suffrage, minimum wage, and environmental protection began at a local level. Plus, we’ve had a hands-on lesson in why we need local government to lead both in the pandemic and after the August 2020 derecho. 
  3. Your vote makes an immediate difference.  Do you know that typically less than 25% of voters turn out for local elections? Many races are decided by fewer than 5 votes! Plus, your local officials are more willing to listen to your needs and interests if you are a voting member of the community. And it’s easier to work together to vote someone out if they aren’t responsive.

So, what’s on the ballot in Cedar Rapids this year? 

If you live in Cedar Rapids, you are voting for the following:

  • Mayor
  • City Council Members
  • School Board Members
  • Community College District Director
  • Public Measures (Yes or No Vote) on Gambling Reauthorization and extension of a sales and service tax of 1%

Members of surrounding towns and cities can view your ballot and voting information at the Linn County Election Services website. 

Here’s how to make a voting plan for tomorrow:

  1. If you haven’t yet, research the candidates and issues on the ballot. Some helpful links are below:

If you live in another town or city around Cedar Rapids, a Google search should help you find your local candidates and the positions they hold on local issues. Please take time to read and learn before you vote!

2. Figure out where and when you’re going to vote

  • Make sure you are registered to vote
  • Use the Election Lookup tool to find your polling place and much more, including sample ballots. 
  • If you are using an absentee ballot and didn’t mail it, hand it in in person; remember, a recently passed law means that the ballot must be received by 8 pm on Election Day. The postmark does not matter.
  • The polls close at 8 pm, so make a plan to vote before the kids go to bed! This is a change from previous years. You can view all Election Law changes for 2021 here.
  • Bring a government-issued ID card (such as a driver’s license or passport) or your voter identification card. If you don’t have an ID they will issue you a provisional ballot. Find answers to your other Election FAQs here!
Moms, I don’t care how you vote. Just vote! Help make your community what you want it to be for yourself and your children by making your voice heard at the ballot box! I’ll see you in line!

*Disclaimer: Cedar Rapids Moms does not endorse or recommend any particular party, candidate, or platform.

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