Editorial: Make a voting plan and do your homework for the April 6 election
The dust had barely settled on the contentious November election and its painful aftermath when attention around the suburbs shifted to campaigns closer to home.
On April 6, voters will choose who will sit on their local village boards and city councils as well as, in many towns, the village presidents and mayors who lead them.
In addition, voters will have the chance to pick those who will serve on their school, park, library and township boards for the next few years.
In recent weeks, we've run election stories in news, candidate questionnaires in our Neighbor section and endorsements on our editorial pages.
Now, it's your turn.
Early voting expanded this week if you don't want to head to the polls on April 6.
If you prefer to vote by mail, that option remains: The Illinois House Thursday approved a plan that ensures election officials can maintain postage-free collection sites for voters to return ballots. Drop boxes in Lake County, for example, are expected to be set up by Friday afternoon.
Deciding on your voting plan is a crucial first step. The next is doing your homework.
Candidates are motivated to run for any number of reasons.
Some run out of anger at a board's past decisions; others support the incumbents and want to continue what they've started.
Some have a strong grasp of the issues; others clearly do not.
Some have familiar names around town; others are newcomers stepping into the fray for the first time.
Choosing among them can be difficult in some races, even if you examine the backgrounds of each of the candidates and study up on their stances on key issues. But not choosing is not an option. We've had more than one local election in past years decided by a handful of votes -- all the more reason to cast yours.
These boards spend our tax dollars, set out policies and plan for the future of towns, schools, parks and libraries.
They matter. And that means your vote matters.
The November election broke records for the number of votes cast across the country. A polarizing presidential campaign and a deadly pandemic surely motivated many of those voters.
But races to be your city's next mayor or serve on the city council generate their own sense of urgency -- just look at the heated school board races across the suburbs spurred by disagreements over how districts should have responded COVID-19.
So make your voting plan.
Check your deadlines.
Do your homework.
And then make your voice heard.