Municipal Elections See Low Turnout

There is significantly lower participation in municipal elections than federal elections. Why do local politics matter?


Voting is an essential part of maintaining democracy. While municipal elections may receive less attention than federal ones, they can often have a more noticeable impact on everyday Americans’ lives.

Ainsley Kling, Opinion Editor

Only 17.56% of Miami’s registered voters voted in this fall’s municipal elections. This statistic demonstrates how local elections can often go ignored by the general public. Despite the lack of attention to local municipal elections and low voter turnout, these elections are important for voters to participate in as well.  

“Local elections, or local politics, local laws, and local ordinances have much more of an effect on your everyday life and at least more visible effects than federal legislation,” social science teacher Daniel Quiros said.

 This is in contrast to the state and federal government which tend to have to make broader laws in order to fit a wider populace and meet more needs.

“It is the government that is the closest to you,” agreed social science teacher Dr. Keitha Burnett. “You can see change much more rapidly at this level than at the state and definitely than at the national level.”

Additionally, an article written by NPR titled Why Every Vote Matters mentions the various times just a single vote or a very small number of votes has decided the winner. These close elections generally tend to occur in the state and municipal districts as there are much smaller numbers voting in the first place, making each vote important to the final verdict.

 “Your vote is your voice in a democracy,” Quiros said.

This is especially true in local elections. Voting cannot be discounted, and this is true for young people as the next generation of voters. 

“I would say you absolutely should be voting as you are going to inherit everything else,” Quiros said. 

The first step is registering to vote and pre-registering when eligible. In Miami-Dade, this application can be completed online by going to the Register to Vote webpage.