Editorial: The dawn of Election 2020
In the next few days, you'll begin seeing a significant increase in our election coverage -- and we'll start introducing endorsements on our Opinion page soon as well.
Editorial Board members are busy researching the candidates and the issues, and this week, Editorial Board interviews will begin in earnest.
We'll publish stories on the majority of those interviews; in most cases, we'll also share video on dailyherald.com so you can evaluate the candidates for yourself.
We are feeling a special urgency on all of this because mail-in voting starts Sept. 24. It's clear that a lot of voters will be casting ballots earlier this year than ever before.
We hope you not only feel that sense of urgency as a voter, but that you also feel an obligation as a citizen to make sure you are informed before you fill out your ballot.
That's going to be tougher than ever to do this year because of how early you'll to be tempted to vote -- and by how early the political parties are going to prod you to do so.
Don't just mark down your presidential choice and then blindly fill out the rest of the ballot by checking off votes beside names you may know little or nothing about.
Study up. We're here to help, but don't just limit your exploration to one media outlet. Check the candidates' websites. Read position statements on candidate surveys. Learn what you can, as much as you can.
The big election this year, of course, is the one for president. It is perhaps the most intense election of our lifetimes and certainly, the most polarizing.
In Illinois, the ballot also will include a referendum question asking to amend the state constitution to allow for a graduated income tax. No question, that is a major issue with far-reaching implications that would put it front and center in any other year.
We'll address these preeminent election choices, but we suspect, they are the choices that you are least likely to seek our help in resolving.
You may have some curiosity about the arguments we make in our presidential endorsement, and of course, we'll hope to be persuasive, but we don't kid ourselves. Most people decide on a presidential favorite long before any newspaper endorsement comes out.
Those big questions matter a lot, of course, but so do the races down the ballot -- from U.S. Senate to the U.S. House, the General Assembly, the county governments and assorted referendums too.
We feel an obligation to help you short those out as best we can.
Our recommendations will reflect our best judgment. But that doesn't mean they will be perfect.
Consider our endorsements, but consider them only as a factor in your decision-making. Ideally, an endorsement is one ingredient in the research you, as a concerned and responsible citizen, conduct on the issues and the candidates.
This is a big election coming up. May we all stay well. And may we all do our duty.