Why we (and you) vote: Local offices

Copy by Imani Benjamin-Wharton. Video story created by James Hunter, Matt Schantz, Amanda Funger, Imani Benjamin-Wharton, Tucker Bedingfield, Leslie Daniels and Naja Lopez, with further support from Gabe Ossa, Lucas Fornasini and Marlin Campbell Jr.

You guys didn’t want to know about the who, the how or the what but the almighty ‘why’ of voting.

Thanks to funding by the American Press Institute, we created an internal AY cohort. With our thinking caps strapped on tight, we tried to give you an honest answer about voting.  After a lot of back and forth, we came up with the following… 

Voting is hard. It’s a slog that doesn’t feel like it pays off in the end. Like bad sex. We may be participating in America’s great democratic experiment, but it doesn’t seem like our contribution matters. We understand how frustrating and meaningless it can feel.

Your vote makes a difference, especially at the local level. As a citizen, you dictate policy when you vote for elected officials like the sheriff or the next member of the education board. The ballot box is the key to starting change in your community for the better. 

You can even make change by trying to run for office yourself. We all think we can do a better job. So why not give it a go?

We’re a generation that’s tired of being told that it’s going to be better. We need proof. So we’ll try to point you in the right direction–on voting, local races or even getting into office yourself.  

The Mayor 

How the mayor works to affect city policy.

The Superior Clerk 

Case files and legal records, and the people who file them.

The Sheriff

The sheriff is the part of the community that enforces and upholds the law.

The Education Board

The board of education handles all things taxes and policy within school districts.

County Commissioner Chair and Board

How the county commission makes your taxes work in the county.

Tax Commissioner

The tax commissioner works for you by collecting your local taxes.

The Coroner

Georgia coroners and why they matter [hint: determining cause of death is important for criminal cases].

The District Attorney (DA)

Knowing your DA is knowing your local justice system, since this is who chooses to prosecute [or not prosecute] criminal cases.

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