41 Reasons You Should Care About This Election Day, Even If It Doesn't Seem As Exciting As 2016

TEL-AVIV, ISRAEL - MARCH 17: Israeli's vote on elections day for the 20th Knesset on March 17, 2015 in Tel-aviv, Israel. Herzog stands as the only rival to current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)
Source: Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Look, Tuesday's election may not seem as exciting as the 2016 one for president, but it's still super important if you care about the country's future. Local issues can often have national implications, and the politicians and ballot measures you vote for today could have greater effects later on. Election Day 2015 isn't one to miss, and you should definitely go to the polls and vote in your local election.

If you live in Ohio, for instance, you can vote on some pretty important issues, ones which the whole country will be talking about after the election is over. The state is voting on marijuana legalization for both medicinal and recreational use, so if you've got strong feelings on the issue one way or the other, now is the time to make your voice heard. In addition, Ohio voters could also change the way election maps are drawn, which could stop politicians from drawing their own party lines. 

And if you don't live in Ohio, there are plenty of other national issues your local vote could affect, too. San Francisco, for instance, is voting on Airbnb restrictions. Here are 41 reasons you should care about the vote today, no matter where in the United States you live.

  1. Seattle is voting on campaign finances, which could impact big money's influence on politics.
  2. And just to reiterate, Ohio is voting on marijuana legalization.
  3. The Ohio vote would affect both medicinal and recreational marijuana sales.
  4. Ohio voters can also weigh in on election maps, which could help stop gerrymandering.
  5. If you care about transgender rights, this Houston vote is essential. The city is voting on whether to repeal a law that prohibits bathroom discrimination.
  6. And if you have an opinion about Airbnb (and live in San Francisco), you should definitely cast your vote.
  7. The Airbnb vote could have national implications about what the "sharing economy" means for the United States.
  8. Colorado is voting on what, exactly, it will do with the money it's made from marijuana sales — $66 million in tax revenue.
  9. Literally all of Virginia's 140 state senate seats are up for reelection.
  10. And that Virginia state senate election could decide which party will control the state.
  11. If you live in Kentucky, your vote could help choose the state's next governor
  12. And the Kentucky race is a big deal, because a Tea Party candidate is running against a Democrat.
  13. Seriously, even if you don't live in the state, follow the Kentucky race. The Washington Post called it "a microcosm of what's happening on the national level."
  14. 2015 is also a gubernatorial election year for Mississippi.
  15. Salt Lake City might elect its first openly gay mayor.
  16. Tuesday's elections will fill three of Pennsylvania's seven state supreme court positions.
  17. All 80 seats in the New Jersey state assembly are up for election.
  18. And the New Jersey vote could affect property taxes — which is a big deal, because the state has one of the nation's highest tax rates.
  19. Washington state has a ballot initiative to save pangolins and other rare animals.
  20. And a Michigan lawmaker who resigned amid a series of sex scandals is asking for his job back.
  21. Hudsonville, Michigan is also holding a mayoral election for only the second time in 28 years.
  22. 53 school districts in Minnesota are asking voters to approve or renew more than 110 school levies.
  23. San Francisco is holding a mayoral election, which could affect the city's arts programs.
  24. New York state is electing multiple politicians whose predecessors left after facing criminal charges.
  25. Massachusetts has 24 contested mayoral elections this year.
  26. Georgia will decide whether two of its communities will become cities.
  27. If you live in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, don't let your tax dollars go to waste. The 2015 election is expected to cost $400,000.
  28. North Carolina's elections feature two big mayoral races in Durham and Chapel Hill.
  29. Chapel Hill, North Carolina's incumbent mayor, Mark Kleinschmidt, is the first openly gay mayor in the city's history, and he's running for reelection after serving as the city's mayor since 2009.
  30. And in South Carolina, voters will choose the mayor of West Columbia.
  31. Texas is voting on Proposition 6, which would protect hunting and make it more difficult for activists to push legislation to protect animals.
  32. Los Angeles is electing city officials and school board members in dozens of districts.
  33. Fairbanks and Juneau, Alaska are holding mayoral elections.
  34. Bethel, Alaska is voting on whether to create a 15 percent tax on marijuana retail sales.
  35. And Bethel's also voting on whether to allow bars or liquor stores within city limits — currently, no businesses hold liquor licenses there.
  36. Thousands of Native Hawaiians are voting to choose 40 delegates for a constitutional convention.
  37. Gaithersburg, Rockville, and Tacoma Park, Maryland are holding mayoral elections.
  38. Plus, voting gives you the right to complain about local policies without sounding like a jerk.
  39. Seriously, if you choose not to vote, don't complain later.
  40. Less than a quarter of voting-age residents in 144 U.S. cities voted in 2011's local elections, and it's up to you to change those statistics and participate in democracy.
  41. If you vote, you'll get a snazzy "I Voted" sticker. And really, what's better than that?

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