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posted: 3/30/2013 5:00 AM

The Soapbox

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Daily Herald Editorial Board

$130 per vote:

That's the cost of allowing 67 Aurora voters to winnow the field from five to two Ward 9 city council candidates in the February primary. The two survivors will square off again April 9. Say what you want about the 3.8 percent voter turnout, but maybe the problem lies in the system.

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Another example:

How about $125,000 for roughly 2,900 voters to decide between slates of GOP candidates in Palatine Township? Suburban Tax Watchdog Jake Griffin earlier this week chronicled these costs, which don't drop because turnout is low. They're a product of the patchwork of elections that pop up depending on the number of candidates who file.

Someone please step up:

In a state filled with archaic laws and excessive government, the February primary seems amazingly superfluous. Of course people don't come out to vote in the dead of winter to reduce the number of candidates they'll be voting for in a couple months. Can't a legislator step to the plate and suggest this is folly that needs to be undone?

How to read a campaign pledge?

At a recent forum, mayoral candidate Ron Drake vowed Arlington Heights will be "open for business" if he's elected. We hope that was just swashbuckling politico rhetoric, not a hint that he'd give away the store. Arlington Heights is not the Wild West. It's a well-planned, well-managed community. Business is an important element, but it's not the whole.

Endorsing Ott in Dist. 11, too:

In our endorsements for the school board race in Medinah Elementary District 11, we unwisely refrained from an endorsement for incumbent Dale Ott. He's qualified and worthy of our support. We are not rescinding our endorsements of Stephen Durante, Jim Mallory, Polly Strzewski and Jeff Schwede. But we are adding Ott to the list and suggesting voters choose between him and Schwede.

What's in a name?

Every election we wonder about this. Why do election yard signs work? Why would anyone base a vote on the fact that he or she saw a name on a sign while driving down the street? Let's all vow to be better voters than that. Let's all vow to research the candidates.

Keep it neighborly:

Election yard signs, however, also can be an invitation to talk with your neighbors about why they like a certain candidate, or how they know that individual. That's good information. And when neighbors back different candidates, that's OK as long as they don't lose sight of what being a good neighbor is all about.

A tribute to the mayor:

Being mayor is kind of like being an umpire: Half the people think you made the wrong call. Through the years, St. Charles Mayor Don DeWitte made mostly right calls. Residents can say thank you and so long April 17 at the Arcada Theatre, where CEO Ron Onesti would like residents to help with the tribute. Contact him at ron@oshows.com.

Why no penalty?

A report of possible governor candidate Bruce Rauner improperly claiming three homeowner exemptions at the same time points to glaring problems in the system. Rauner paid what he owed and called the issue an "oversight." But even for people deliberately abusing the system, there is no penalty. Note to lawmakers: It's time to change that.

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