Editorial: Local elections make largest impact on day-to-day life

By on March 3, 2011

National and presidential elections are typically the ones that drive the largest number of voters to the polls. They are the ones that generate the most discussions among the public and lead to the most amount of attention.

Voter turnout typically drops dramatically when it is an off-presidential year, and even moreso when it is not a national election.

Yet, local elections are the ones that have the most immediate impact on the day-to-day lives of residents. It is our village officials, community referendums and school board members who make the decisions that affect the roads you drive on, the schools your children attend, and where, when and if development comes to your community.

The decisions they make will impact your property values and your property taxes, if the street filled with potholes gets fixed, and if the community park receives an upgrade or not.

So while the national elections dominate the airwaves, the discussions and the pages of most newspapers, it actually is the local elections that each community should be most interested in.

For the upcoming consolidated election on Tuesday, April 5, the last day to register to vote is approaching.

The last day to register to vote at local libraries and village halls is Tuesday, March 8. After that, you may register during what the county calls its grace-period registration, which runs from March 9 through March 29. To register during the grace-period, you must register and vote at the same time, and only at the Kane County Clerk’s Office, 719 S. Batavia Ave., Building B, North Entrance, Geneva. Available times are Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or Wednesdays from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To be eligible to register to vote, one must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years of age by the next election, and reside in the precinct for 30 days prior to the election. You must also provide two forms of ID.

Be engaged, find out the issues and information you need to make an informed decision, and vote.