COMMENTARY: Doña Ana County had a successful turnout for the general election. I challenge us to keep the momentum going and vote in the upcoming school board election.
Voting for the president is important, but getting out to vote for our local elected officials is smart. People are the heart of democracy, so everyone should vote in every election.
Furthermore, at the core of of democracy is its potential for inclusiveness, which can only be achieved through participation. Participation makes democracy work.
However, increased participation does not automatically create an inclusive system or government, nor does voting. It is simply a first step to getting more people involved and further engaged with their local government.
Voting in every election can begin a habit of being informed of the process, getting to know your local officials, and, overall, becoming more familiar and engaging with our local government.
It is time to vote in your local school board election. There are open seats in Las Cruces Public Schools district, Hatch Valley Public Schools district, and Gadsden Independent School District. In Hatch there is also a general obligation school bond question.
On Jan. 13 the election season started and early voting began during regular office hours at the county clerk’s office in the Doña Ana County Government Center, 845 N. Motel Blvd. You can also request an absentee ballot to vote by mail.
On Jan. 16, we will be open on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day to provide another opportunity for you to vote. Please note that only the clerk’s office will be open. The remaining county offices will be closed in observance of the holiday.
Feb. 7 is Election Day and the last day to vote. Voting locations will be open across the county from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on locations and candidates, please contact our office at (575) 647-7428 or visit our website: dacelections.com.
Voting in every election can be the door to being more involved and participating in local government, which will then result in policies and laws that are inclusive. I think we can all agree that everyone’s voices and lived experiences should be at the table when making decisions. The more people who participate in democracy the better the outcome, because decisions are based on diversity rather than a small majority.
The value of democracy is the continual process of engaging each other.
The starting point of democracy is the value of each individual and their ability to participate. Participation is inclusion, and at its best, democracy achieves unity of differences while preserving the autonomy and value of each individual.
In other words, democracy needs you to work. Don’t let it, and yourself, down. Be informed, be involved, and vote in every election.
Scott Krahling, a Democrat, is the Doña Ana County clerk.