President isn’t the only office up for election

October 2020

Collin Long

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Every election is a big deal, but I doubt anyone will disagree that this year’s feels exceptionally significant.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum – or even off it, at this point – the stakes have never felt higher than they do now.

The outbreak of COVID-19, the economic disruption it caused, the social unrest that has boiled over during the pandemic and the increasing political polarization of the American public have certainly contributed to a feeling that the 2020 election is more important than any in recent memory.

Some would say this is the most significant election in American history, and I’m not arguing with them.

Without a doubt, this election has been dominated by big-picture items related to or intensified by COVID-19, but many other national issues are heavy on the minds of 2020 voters. Guns, taxes, climate change and health care immediately come to mind. The shear scope of these topics is overwhelming. And most Americans are probably focusing exclusively on these big picture issues and how the presidential election will shape each for years to come.

But don’t forget how important the smaller things can be.

While seemingly everyone’s attention is consumed by how the highest profile race will affect the highest profile issues, there are many crucial elections happening in your state, county and community that could have a major impact on policies that affect truckers. While it’s easy to spend all of your time and energy (and perhaps sanity) focusing on who will be occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. come 2021, don’t forget about the importance of state and local elections.

There are 99 state legislative bodies in the United States (Nebraska is the oddball with one chamber, if you’re wondering). A whopping 86 of those bodies are holding elections this year. Even if your state legislators aren’t up for re-election, it’s likely some officials responsible for policies that affect truckers are facing voters in your area this fall – county commissioners, mayors, city council members, supervisors, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, voting in the presidential election is of paramount importance. This almost goes without saying, but every trucker in America should be casting a vote for who they feel will best lead our nation for the next four years – no matter who, why or how.

But don’t let the around-the-clock news coverage of the race for the White House, the hyperpartisan social media posts of those friends and family members, or all the doomsday political advertising coming out of Washington allow you to forget about what’s happening in your own community. If you’re not paying attention, the smaller things can become big problems in no time.

State and local elections can have serious consequences for truckers and their families. They can’t be forgotten simply because the race for the White House is sucking all the air out of the room. LL