I voted . . . Did you?

While the media continues to drone on and on about next November’s presidential election, the actual civic life of the country is focused elsewhere today. Here in Virginia, we are voting for who will represent us in the Virginia General Assembly and in our local city and county governments. Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Jersey will also be holding state legislative elections and the people of Kentucky and Mississippi will be choosing their governors and other state offices. The people of Mississippi will also be voting on a very important state constitutional amendment that would legally recognize that human life begins when science, faith, and logic all say it does: at conception.

As I have told many friends and family members over the last several weeks, we do ourselves a disservice if we ignore these elections and focus instead on a national election that is still a year away. The national elections are important, no doubt, but our state and local governments have more real impact in our day-to-day lives. Your roads, fire departments, schools, police, libraries, and public utilities are the business of your state and local governments. Federal policy has comparatively small impact in these areas. The founders envisioned a system where the bulk of government would be at the state and local levels, while the federal government would stay focused on its comparatively narrow areas of responsibility—foreign policy, interstate commerce, printing money, etc.

So it is important that you pay as much attention to your local elections as you do to your national ones. It is important that you go out and vote today, assuming you live in a jurisdiction holding elections and are legally eligible. I did (and I even got to shake hands with a couple of local candidates). The polls in Virginia don’t close until 7pm, so you still have plenty of time to research your candidates and ballot issues and get out there.