Consider this: Election time

Reed Harris

It’s that time of year, again.  Time to read up on the candidates that are running for local offices. Candidates for offices such as mayor, village president, councilperson, superintendent, commissioner and trustee. This is the most important type of election you can vote in because the people elected to these offices affect you directly in your everyday activities. The decisions these people make will, at times, take place within short periods of time.

Yet most of these elections have very low turnout. Many times, it depends on the office candidates are running for. Mayors and village presidents may draw in a large voter count.  Some candidates may draw in voters. Issues may also be on the ballot and draw a large count.

These local consolidated elections usually do not draw in young people the same that the state and federal elections do. This is why I was happy to see a young voter recently give their opinion on a local person running for the Rochelle Township High School Board. The article was very well written, and opinion very clearly stated.

Yet we need to see more of both young and “youngish” people write to our paper with their opinions about candidates. We need to see all people espouse, using their written voice, on all sorts of matters. We have that right. And though there is always someone who disagrees with every situation that arises, this must not deter our voices. Once we use a name with our voice, that voice elevates above the trivial. A comment on Facebook or another social media site will get eyes throughout the world, but what about local eyes? We are the people that really need to see and use the information inserted in those comments.

The candidates should not be left out of this scenario either. If there are candidates who don’t list their views on how the office they are running for can be changed for the better, should we even consider them in our decisions? How could we vote for anyone we don’t have information on? As I’ve said in previous articles, it is up to us to read, review and decide.

I might have said this before and if I have, please forgive my repetition. Some of us will determine that our vote doesn’t count. Maybe they think it a waste of time to vote. Maybe the candidates they vote for won’t win so they’ll second guess why they vote in the first place? For sure, if we don’t vote, our vote will not be counted. Would yours be the one to turn the tide?  Would a group of people, who decided they must vote, turn the tide?  When you put on that “I Voted” sticker, will someone see that and remember to vote or vote because you did?

And I do know that some have trouble getting time off work to vote. That’s why in Illinois we have four days of early voting in hopes that this will be an additional way to ease the concerns of our citizens to find the time. This voting cycle the early voting will be March 29, 30, 31 and April 1 at the Flagg Township Office on Illinois Route 38 and at the Ogle County Courthouse.  Election day is on April 4.

It's so interesting that in a country that is built on the voice of the people, the people have such a hard time being heard. Someday, we will have a holiday for voting. That really is the only way to see great turnouts at all elections. Maybe we can even eliminate early voting by increasing the number of voting locations to better match the number of people that are signed up to vote. On a personal note, I would like to see a one-person, one-vote nation by eliminating the Electoral College.

But, until then, please vote. Let your voice be heard. And remember, no one will know how you vote. Unless you tell them of course. Not your spouse, your friends, or your family.  It is your vote, not theirs.