Get Involved: Local and State Election Edition

By: Isabel Rodriguez

Did you know that the Presidential election is not the only time you should be casting your vote? While the Presidential election happens every four years, the congressional election happens every two, and state and local elections are every year. Why is this important? Typically, voters view the presidential election as the most influential. However, state and local elections impact you more directly.

State and Local elections are often the changes that seen most in your community. Remember that tax increase? Voters put that into place during one of the local elections. Not every measure you are voting on is about increasing taxes or fixing streets; in some cases, you are voting for progressive and monumental change.

Gen Z must begin to establish their presence in these as well. Researchers at Portland State University analyzed 23 million voting records from 50 different U.S cities to better understand the participants in local elections. Turnout in 10 of America’s 30 largest cities was less than 15% (In Las Vegas, Ft. Worth, and Dallas, attendance was in the single digits.). The median age of voters was 57 (City residents 65 and older were 15 times more likely to cast a ballot than younger residents between the ages of 18 and 34.)

So while there is this push for more people to vote, we must not forget that elections are not just every four years, they are yearly, and each of them is important.

Where do I find a sample Ballot?

  1. Sample Ballot Lookup

  2. Find My State or Local Election Office Website

  3. YOUR VOTERS' GUIDE-Personalized Ballot Information

How do I continue to be involved after this November election on a local or state wide level?

  1. Get Familiar with your local and State representatives

  2. Volunteer. Donate. Raise your concerns. Be an active community member.

  3. 2020 Election Coverage by Office

  4. Become a Poll Worker

  5. Poll Workers are still needed for local and state wide elections!

  6. Work Elections

  7. Listen in on State and Local Government Meetings a. You can watch several different government council meetings as well as others online or on your cable network. Below are some of the laws that are in place to provide you with access and go into more detail: i. Access to State and Local Meeting Laws


Isabel Rodriguez (she/her, 18) is a Latina woman based in California. She is a student at Cal Poly Pomona and plans on studying Communications with an emphasis on Public Relations. During her free time, she is a freelance writer covering intersectional feminism, environmentalism, voting, and any issues affecting underrepresented or minority communities. Find her on Instagram @isabel.rodriiguezz.

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