Illinois is holding a “consolidated election” on April 7, 2015. It’s one of those elections that can be easy to pass you by because there isn’t a presidential race or candidates running for Congress or statewide office, so you’re not going to see a bunch of television ads.
Still, it’s an important election – perhaps in some ways more important than those national elections. The winning candidates will decide issues that will directly affect your city, schools, parks and libraries — in other words, your family.
And the deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, March 10!
To be eligible to register to vote, you must be a U.S. citizen, be 18 years of age by the next election and reside in the precinct for 30 days prior to the next election.
If you’re not sure if you are registered or if your registration is current, you can visit this Illinois State Board of Elections site. If you are registered, it will tell you where your polling place is located. If you’re not, here’s directions on how you can register to vote in Kane County, including options to do it online, by mail or in person. You can also call 630-232-5990 for help. If you live outside Kane, just go to your county clerk’s site and search for the elections section.
If you know you are registered but aren’t sure what races might be contested in your area, and you live in Kane County, you should visit the Kane County Elections site. About halfway down on the page, to the right of “Find” and a big arrow, you’ll find a place to put your last name and address. Click on through and eventually you can find a sample ballot for the April 7 election.
If you can’t get registered by Tuesday, there is an option for “grace period voting” in which you register and vote all at the same time.
Plus, traditional early voting will be allowed from March 23 through April 4.
Finally, I’ve always been interested in the political process, and I come from a family that put a strong emphasis on voting. I would even file an absentee ballot when I was away at college.
But this year, I have more of a personal interest in the consolidated election because I’m running for a seat on the Geneva City Council! I’m seeking to represent Geneva’s 1st ward, which is basically all of Geneva north of State Street and west of the Fox River, as well as much of downtown west of Third Street. The incumbent alderman is retiring after nearly 30 years, and I face one challenger.
I’m excited about this new opportunity, and I think I could bring a valuable, fresh perspective to the Geneva City Council. Readers of this website certainly know I understand the interests and pressures on young families in the western suburbs.
You can learn more about my campaign, my background and my philosophy on my TaraForGeneva.com website and Facebook page. If you live in Geneva but aren’t sure what ward, you can find the Geneva ward map here, and you can follow me on Twitter @TaraBurghart.
Of course most of my Go West Young Mom readers do not live in Geneva’s 1st Ward. Still, I sincerely urge you to make sure you are registered for the April 7 election and then to cast your vote. The Kane County Chronicle just yesterday debuted its “Election Central” where you can find information on candidates running for not only city councils but also school districts, park districts and more. The Daily Herald has great election coverage for a wider range of the suburbs as well.
I know that when you have young children in your life, your to-do list is long and demanding. But the outcomes of these local races do have a big impact on young families. So I hope to see you at the polls on April 7!