The voting turnout in local election years is grossly smaller than in general election years. According to Fair Vote, the Center for Voting and Democracy, mayors of major cities are often elected with "single digit turnout", meaning that only a one-digit percentage of the population votes in that election.
Most public officials, however, are elected in local elections, and the issues that affect communities will be decided in the local elections. An urban affairs review published by the University of Calif. sums the issue up this way,
"...at the local level where policies are most likely to be implemented and where a majority of the nation's civic leaders are being elected, important public policy decisions are being made without the input of most of the affected residents."
In other words, voters are neglecting an avenue of public input that can immediately and immensely affect their community.
According to an article published by the Washington Post, this lack of participation in local elections is primarily because people don't know about the candidates and issues, and don't have the time to research.
Below is a 60-second solution, followed by a list of the candidate's campaign pages and elected and civic experience for further research.
Online Election Resources:
- Find your polling place online.
- See the results of the primaries.
- Check out an example of the ballot.
Election Candidate's Campaign Pages and Elected and Civic Experience:
City council candidates, at large: Barb Russ: Duluth Water and Gas Board, PAVSA (past president), YWCA (past president), Duluth Sister Cities, Woodland Hills, Community Action DUluth board member and tax site volunteer, 11th District Bar Association (past president/current board), League of Women Voters, Friends of the Lakewalk. Zach Filipovich: Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, Duluth Preservation Alliance Board of Directors, Duluth Higher Education Small Area plan Committee, Duluth and St. Louis County Days lobby team, UMD Student Association (past vice president of finance), UMD Campus Budget Committee. Ryan Stauber: Duluth Alcohol, Gambling, and Tobacco Commissioner, Arrowhead Regional Corrections Advisory Board, St, Louis County representative, AFSCME Union Steward, Local 66, 911/Jail Bargaining Unit, Joshua Avenue task force, Federal Blueprint Project (Prevention of Violence Against Women), Committee for Duluth. Ray Sandman: Foster parent, 2 tours of duty in Vietnam.
School board candidates, district one: Rosie Loeffler-Kemp: Parent Teacher Association president, League of Women Voters Duluth board/past president, School Readiness Parent Advisory Committee, CHUM congregation representative, Duluth Environmental Advisory Committee, MN PTA board, Duluth PTA council president, Girl Scout leader and council committees, Life House, United Way of Duluth Fund Distribution committees, Meals On Wheels, Kids Voting Duluth Board, Duluth U.S. Census Complete Counts Committee, Duluth Area Family Collaborative, Minnesota Reading Corps, AmeriCorps-Lester Park tutor/volunteer coordinator, Lutheran Church of Good Shepherd church council, Lester Park Elementary Foundation (founding member/current board). Joe Matthes: AFSCME Council 65 and Duluth Building and Construction Trades Council, Duluth News Tribune Editorial Board.
School board candidates, district four: David Bolgrien: Margon Park Middle School PTA co-president, Men as Peacemakers, AmeriCorps, Think Kids facilitator, Laura MacArthur Parent/Community Engagement Team, Denfeld Parent Involvement Committee. Art Johnston: American Society of Civil Engineers, Duluth section president, Denfeld advisory council, PTA member, Minnesota School Board Association
School board candidates, at large: Annie Harala: AmeriCorps, Safe and Walkable Hillside Coalition, Mentor Duluth. Harry Welty: Duluth School Board. Nancy Nilsen (campaign page not found): Duluth School Board at-large seat (2005) Henry Banks: Duluth Planning commissioner, Washington Family Resource Center (past director), Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Inc. (founder and past chairman), Duluth YMCA Community Services Board, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits Northeast Board of Advisers, Blandin Foundation Community Leadership Program (alumnus), Knight Foundation Creative Communities Initiative Community Catalyst (alumnus).
Elected and Civic Experience Information gathered from the Duluth News Tribune, Oct. 27, 2013.