Small elections, big impact: the importance of local politics

By Landen Fields ( Fields is the executive producer for the Campus Ledger. He joined the Ledger in the fall semester of 2019 and has always been interested in media and videography. Two of his favorite hobbies include recording his KU Basketball podcast – Inside the Paint – and watching as many sports as possible.


On November 3, most of the buzz around politics will be concerned with the presidential election. However, there will be many local elections being decided that day as well. These will not only be interesting to follow, but equally as important to vote on as the presidential race. 

(Abe Raffie) “It’s quite likely that the things that really impact people the most are decisions that are made by local government officials, whether it’s the school board, you know, community college boards, the county commission, the city council, the state legislature [transition] policing is something that’s, you know, in in the news and kind of on the social, you know, agenda, you know, and in our country right now. And that’s largely a city and county issue [transition] a U.S. senator probably has a high profile position to speak into some of those issues, and there are some legislative things that, you know, may be done. But in reality, some of those issues that would be seen as most important to many voters are directly in the jurisdiction of some of the local elected officials.”

(Letitia Harmon) “We are going to be voting on our state legislature this year. And what they do is they set the statutes for the state. So, this has a lot to do with how crimes are treated. What is a crime? It has to do with taxes. It’s how that commerce happens within the state. So, there’s a lot of direct impact from the state legislature to your life.”

If you’re wanting to find out more about your local officials, where can you go to get more information and what can you do to get involved? 

(Harmon) “I would say that Vote is a place where, it’s not it’s not the prettiest website, you kind of have to dig into it, but it will tell you the voting record of the candidates. It will tell you what endorsements they have [transition] The other place you can look at And you go to the candidate’s website, they’ll tell you what their priorities are, and if they state that something is a priority, say, expanding Medicaid, for example, that’s going to be one of their most important issues. And you should assure yourself that you agree with the candidate on what their most important issues are.”

(Raffie) “Elected leaders are very accessible. You know, you’re likely to pick up the phone and call your state representative or send an email to your state representative or state senator or city council member and get a return, get a response and get a call back.”

The biggest question is politics often seems to be a simple one: does your vote matter? 

(Harmon) “Your vote matters a heck of a lot with the state and the local. You have a direct vote. It really is a one person, one vote in that situation. And so, you don’t need to be disillusioned. You need to be motivated by that because you can have a huge impact.”

For The Campus Ledger, I’m Landen Fields. 



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.