The late State Representative Bill Crawford would always say,
“If you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu.”
With the local elections swiftly approaching, it is critical to ensure you and those who want to make change for the greater good get registered to vote and get out and vote.
Even on an off-presidential year, all constituencies (community stakeholders) must show up to the polls and express what changes and empowerment you want to see. The rights of people of color, women, immigrants, and other disenfranchised communities are more vulnerable than ever.
Why is this important? The 2018 local and mid-term elections will decide who will be your voice at the decision tables for the following:
- The United States Senate
- The United States House of Representatives
- Indiana Statewide Elected Officials
- Secretary of State
- State Senate
- State House
- Countywide Elected Officials
- Township Elected Officials
- Small Claims Court Judges
- Judicial Retention
- School Board
- Referendum (Petitioned, Public Questions)
- (example: IPS School Board Referendum)
It is essential to note that the elected positions above have a more direct impact on your life due to what's called home rule.
Home rule means the government within specific administrative areas (districts) have the power to govern themselves as they see fit. This provides more choice, options, flexibility, and freedom to local leaders.
Want a more effective voting process that doesn’t further disenfranchise voters? Who you vote for as your County Clerk and Secretary of State plays a significant role on voting and other county licensing/permit matters. Want to see a better criminal justice, community policing, and legal proceedings? Who you vote for as your County Prosecutor, Constable, and Sheriff (to name a few) directly impact the criminal justice matters of your neighborhood. Tired of seeing businesses close and abandoned houses in your communities? Who you vote for as your County Treasurer, Assessor, Surveyor and State Representative (to name a few) directly impact local government property values, tax increment financing (TIF), and other taxation matters for your community.
While these are just a few examples, they are important examples as to why we have to get out and vote. We cannot say, “I don’t want to vote because they don’t look after my interests.” Change can be done incrementally by making sure you have your key players (elected officials) in the game (at the decision tables), so you and your community win. Being mad, frustrated, and sitting out won't make change happen. Being mad, frustrated, and sitting at the decision tables (or having elected officials that represent your interest) will make change happen.
Prepare now to be seated at the table. Make sure you’re registered to vote, voting status is active, and your change of address is complete by October 9, 2018. These steps, along with a valid government issued ID, will ensure that you're able to vote on Election Day, November 6, 2018. Those who are at least 18 years of age on Election Day and also those who were formerly incarcerated can vote. If you have any questions, problems, or need to find out more about who is on your November 6 ballot, visit www.indianavoters.com.
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