With all the commotion and chaos of daily news and politics, it often seems like there’s nothing you can do, or that any effort done doesn’t matter. But on Nov. 5, there is something you can do that will make a difference: vote.
Why should you vote?
Besides being a basic civic duty of American citizens, voting really does affect communities. This is especially true with this year’s elections, with two at-large city council seats up for grabs.
While statewide and federal elections are important, local elections arguably make a greater impact on individual lives. How much effort the city puts into fighting climate change and making housing affordable comes down to who is making those decisions.
A common argument made against voting is that one individual’s vote won’t swing an election. While the margin most likely won’t come down to a single vote, each ballot truly matters on the local scale. In the previous city council election in 2017, less than 16 percent of registered voters participated. With so few people voting, each vote is that much more influential.
More than any specific ballot is the importance of civic engagement. Investing time in the Iowa City community is important to improve the lives of everyone here. Students have a special opportunity to influence the city’s politics and ensure that the city councilors’ decisions take into account the more than 30,000 people who attend the University of Iowa.
How can you vote?
The voter-registration deadline for Iowa is Friday. Voter registration can be done in person at Johnson County Auditor’s Office on Dubuque Street. Online registration is also available at the Iowa Secretary of State website. Additionally, Iowa offers same-day registration at polling places on the day of the election.
All of these options require state-issued identification, including an Iowa driver’s license or nonoperator ID, U.S. military or veteran’s ID, U.S. passport, or tribal ID card or document.
If you can’t make it to the polls on Election Day, early voting is also available Nov. 1-3 at different times at the Iowa City Public Library.
Who should you vote for?
The Daily Iowan will endorse a candidate for an at-large city council seat on Nov. 1. In the days before the endorsement, the DI will publish profiles of the three candidates competing for the two open at-large seats on the Iowa City City Council.
No matter who you prefer, the UI community must be active in our local government. Read information about the candidates and understand the issues they’re campaigning on. Take opportunities to attend candidate meet-and-greets and forums to make an informed decision about electing the person who would best represent your interests on the city council. It’s crucial to our democracy to make our voices heard.
Editorials reflect the majority opinion of the DI Editorial Board and not the opinion of the Publisher, Student Publications Inc., or the University of Iowa.
Editorial board members are Marissa Payne, Brooklyn Draisey, Elijah Helton, and Taylor Newby.