Editorial: Get through the holidays, then prepare for primary election
Realistically, we know you have a lot more on your mind at the moment than whom to vote for in the March 17 primary election.
You've survived Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday and now you're steaming into the holiday season. There's shopping -- lots of shopping -- to do, gifts to wrap, holiday cards to send, cookies to bake, parties to attend and family and friends to visit, leaving little free time to focus on which candidates filed in the past week to be on ballots across the suburbs. We get it.
So, here's the deal: get through the holidays, then pledge to begin 2020 by throwing some of that same energy and enthusiasm into preparing to be informed and engaged voters.
It won't be easy. Democracy isn't. You'll have to do some homework on the candidates and the races to make choices based on ideas and positions on local, state and national issues. Much like pulling together the perfect holiday meal, this is important. Why? Because voters will select officials who will make decisions ranging from how tax dollars are spent on roads and education, to policies on immigration and gun control.
And, it all starts 105 days from now in the March primary. There, Illinois voters will request a Republican or Democratic ballot and vote on a host of races at the national (think president and Congress), state (your House and Senate legislative district reps in Springfield) and local levels (county board and other countywide offices, such as state's attorney and coroner).
The winners from each primary will face off in the general election in November. Strong candidates coming out of the primaries will give voters solid choices in selecting the best people to hold elected offices for the next two, four or six years, depending on the race.
But to do that, voters must be engaged in the process and put some time and effort into learning about the candidates and the important issues they face.
The Daily Herald will help. We'll publish candidate profiles in print and online and have coverage of numerous issues and events. Other broadcast and print outlets also will have reporting on specific races, you can supplement it all by attending forums and debates to meet the candidates and assess their abilities and examining websites and social media sites to compare each candidate's experience and stances on important issues.
While President Donald Trump and a host of Democrats will be the headliners in the primary, many important races up and down the ballot also will deserve your time and attention.
Have an open mind about the candidates and think critically in assessing their claims, then make a note pledging to start 2020 by registering to vote so you can participate in the election.
Much like the holidays, being an informed voter is all about preparation.