Early voting in local elections opened today! Earlier this year, in November, I discussed how monumental it felt to watch the results come in for the 2016 Presidential Election. As I reflect on my feelings leading up to November ninth, I remember feeling the weight and historical impact of the election, but I did not feel a personal connection to the results. I had my stance regarding the candidates and their policies, but deep down, I knew that whoever won the White House would be miles and miles away from me. Election results for City Council, Mayor, and School Board Trustees will not be in for two weeks. However, I already feel a personal connection to these elections. My life is right next to City Hall and the administration building. The roads I drive on will be directly impacted by these elections, my education will be directly impacted by these elections, and ultimately, most aspects of my everyday life will be impacted by these elections. Having spoken with all of the candidates, I feel as if I understand their values and leadership abilities better than I did a presidential candidate’s. As I watch Facebook friends publish their views on the elections and candidates, I find myself realizing just how vested I am in this election. This year in ISM, I have learned the consequences of elections, and how while politics may be more interesting than policy, the winner has to start governing afterwards. Campaign rhetoric sounds nice, but passing it as legislation can hurt or help the public.