While general elections produce more buzz with greater attention on the presidential race, we must not forget the old adage that all politics are local. Don’t believe me?
The Colorado ballot is two pages front and back! Other than the presidential election, the rest of the ballot focuses on important Colorado-specific issues.
The power and importance of a few votes is abundantly clear in local elections. For instance, the 2012 general election in Colorado had some very close local election results.
According to the Colorado Secretary of State, the 2012 election for State House of Representatives in District 59 was decided by only 917 votes out of 44,679 ballots cast. Only 69.63% of registered voters voted. That means 19,488 registered voters didn’t show up on election day. If fewer than 5% of the registered voters who didn’t show up on election day had voted, the race may have had different results.
What’s more, the 2012 Colorado State Senate race in District 19 was decided by just 584 votes out of 80,344 ballots cast. An increase of one-half of one percent (0.5%) could have changed those results!
And we are only talking about percentages of registered voter turnout. This doesn’t include the thousands of people who don’t even register to vote!
According to CIRCLE, during the 2014 midterm election only 26.6% (204,256 total voters) of eligible voters between the ages of 18-29 voted in Colorado. Despite this low turnout, Colorado ranked third highest in the nation after Oregon and Maine.
Think back to those close Colorado state races in 2012. Six of 14 state senate races were determined by 7,454 votes or less! In theory, an increase of just 1% (7856 votes) in youth voter turnout may have changed the results of those elections.
During this election, remember the importance of local elections and the impact each vote has for the cause or candidate that you support.
Stop and think of what is possible if youth voter turnout rises to 85%! It all starts with you registering to vote and then engaging in your civic responsibility and right by casting your vote!