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Voting in local elections impacts life and death: A case study in Washington, DC
A paradox of the U.S. federal political system is that voters say national political issues are too remote from their daily lives, yet voter turnout is much higher for national elections than purely local ones. Local elected officials mayors and city councilors, county supervisors and school board members make decisions that profoundly affect the quality of life for their citizens. Local governments oversee hiring and pay for public school teachers. They determine how much new housing gets built in which neighborhoods. They make sure the trash is picked up and the snow plowed. And they decide whether to invest in sidewalk construction and maintenance, traffic signal placement, and speed limit enforcement actions that affect the safety of anyone who walks, jogs, bikes, or scoots around their neighborhood.
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