Why Vote?

Why Vote?

your vote matters

Elections have consequences.

EVERY ELECTION MATTERS. The results of elections affect everyone - those who vote and those who do not. Yet voter turnout in the 2023 April municipal elections was just 18 percent in St. Louis City and County and even lower in other Missouri counties.
Our daily lives are affected by a lengthy list of things which elected officials decide. Shouldn’t your opinions be included in important decisions such as reproductive rights and gun policy in Missouri?
With your vote you are helping to bring attention to issues important to YOU. By voting you have a say in who's making those decisions. When you do not vote, other voters choose your elected officials for you.
In local elections only one out of every five registered voters actually casts a ballot! It also means those who do care about an issue and cast a ballot in each election have an exceptionally large voice in how our government is run.
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  • Do children in your community have a well-funded, quality education that will prepare them for success in life?
  • Are there quality affordable pre-school and after-school opportunities available to everyone?

Elected officials make laws that affect the quality, cost, and funding for public schools. School Boards and Superintendents are elected and make many hiring and firing decisions, as well as curriculum and extracurricular programs. Funding decisions are made by other elected officials or are their own separate ballot issues. These officials include state reps and senators and school board members, as well as national policy makers.

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  • Are your police, fire and other services adequately trained, equipped, supervised and paid?

  • Do you feel safe in your community?

  • Do you feel the court system in your community is equitable?


Prosecuting attorneys, mayors, alderpersons, city councils, and many judges, are all voted on in local elections. Local electiions affect criminal justice in your community. Your state reps and senators affect gun policy and sentencing guidelines for the whole state.

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  • How close do you live to a health care facility?
  • Are there quality mental health and substance programs near you?
  • Do you know anyone who now qualifies for Medicaid under the expansion approved by voters?
  • Does your family have health or dental insurance?

MO elections are consequential for the healthcare of thousands of low-income working Missourians. Many healthcare funding and access decisions are made by the elected state officials.Lawmakers currently allow you to lose your house because of bankruptcy due to medical debt. Funds to help communities deal with drug problems are controlled by state and local officials.

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  •  Is there a lack of affordable housing in your community? 
  • Do you want options for people who are homeless or in danger of being evicted?
  • Does gentrification concern you?
  • Are there utility assistance programs in your community? 

City council members and alderpeople set the rules for residential housing in your neighborhood.  They also determine the level of funding to aid the homeless and can direct funds for housing assistance.

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  • Are your property tax bills too high?
  • Do you agree with how your taxes are spent?
  • Are TIF's and other tax exemptions being handed out too freely? 
Tax rates and many major expenditures are often determined via the ballot box. Your state reps and senators determine your state tax rate and close-to-home city and county elected officials determine if corporations receive a reduced (or zero) property tax rate for building in your neighborhood. Elected officials determine if taxes are progressive or regressive. A progressive tax structure is more fair. With regresssive taxes such as sales tax and flat rate taxes, lower-income people pay a higher percentage of their income on taxes. 
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  • Do streets, bridges and the infrastructure need repair?
  • Is public transportation convenient to where you live and/or work?
  • Do you feel safe using public transportation?
  • Is there a bike path near you?

Funding for major road and public transportation projects is frequently a combination of local, state and federal funding, mostly decided by local/state legislators. Funding for roads and alternative fuel options is determined by your local, state, and national reps and senators.

Vote in Every Election!

Note that the local municipal elections that happen in the spring are traditionally low turnout. So your vote can be even more effective in local elections.

Campaign budgets for April elections are much lower than for November elections, so it may take more self-education to be an informed voter for them. The LWV provides several excellent sources which provide voters information on local elections: The Voters Guide, Candidate Forums and Speakers Bureau presentations on Ballot Issues.

Reasons to Vote in Non-Presidential Elections

  • How much a president or governor can do depends on whether his/her party controls the Senate and/or the House.
  • Higher turnout makes our democracy more representative.
  • To the voters go the spoils.
  • The margin of victory can be important.
  • Even a vote for a third party can have an impact.
  • Voting is a right generations of Americans have struggle to win, and people in many other countries are still fight for.

Why Youth Voices Are Important

  • Young voters are one half of the voting populations.
  • Older Americans are more likely to vote and hold elected office.
  • Each vote counts. The youth vote can sway the election.
  • Younger voters are incredibly diverse. A higher percent of young voter have independent views rather than identifying as Republican or Democrat.


Click here to register to vote or change your address to vote in future elections. The League’s Register & Vote brochure has information on registering and voting in Missouri. 
Changes in Missouri's election law took effect in August 2022 but are being challenged in court. This includes the requirement for an unexpired government-issued photo ID to vote. Check the Secretary of State's web site for more information.