UPDATE April 3, 2015 / In an attempt to engage all ages and to add a little excitement to this long campaign season, the third set of unofficial, unscientific straw polls were placed online last week to check the trending of PN readers.

Unofficial, unscientific straw polls for Mayor and City Council are now being taken online through Election Day.

Posted Jan. 24, 2015 / Noting the long list of “meet and greet” candidate events that began this month to create awareness about all the hopefuls running in the Consolidated Election on April 7, 2015, PN’s web editor created two straw polls to see which way the wind had begun to blow.

vote_straw

What ‘s a straw poll or straw vote?  

According to Dictionary of American Politics first published in 1944, edited by Edward Conrad Smith and Arnold John Zurcher, a straw vote is “an unofficial poll taken by a newspaper or private organization to forecast the result of an election.”

In the case of Positively Naperville, a community news publication both in print and online, the straw polls featured on this website aim to engage Naperville residents of voting age in the upcoming 2015 Consolidated Election. Voters officially will go to the polls during Early Voting, March 24-April 4, and on Election Day, April 7, 2015.

The first two straw polls released in late January 2015 seek interest relating to 24 candidates running to serve on City Council, including Mayor.  Depending on interest,  polls may be prepared for school boards and park district commissioners.

What sets the City Council and Mayoral Elections apart in 2015 is that this year is the first time all seats are up for election since the establishment of the Council/Manager form of government in Naperville back in 1969.

Readers likely know that after a referendum a few years ago, terms were limited to three, four-year terms for the Mayor and City Council members. Term limits begin for all newly elected  city council members when they are sworn in officially on the first Sunday in May 2015. The Mayor and the top four vote getters will be elected to serve four years. The other four candidates will be elected to serve two years in order to stagger the four-year seats in the future.

Over the course of January, February and March, several straw polls will be conducted with each one starting over, seeking a new sample of approximately 750 to 1,000 voters, always hoping to limit the margin of error of what’s trending in the local voting population.

Still, nothing, nothing, nothing is official or scientific about PN’s straw polls.  Our guidelines have come from statisticians who use statistical methods to collect and analyze data— and we’ve welcomed their suggestions to acquire the best random sample possible.

One vote per IP address

PN’s poll-meister has set the interactive straw polls each to accept only one vote per voter per IP address. And they will be sorted by Naperville origin.

What’s interesting in the analytics at this stage in the game is the high number of bullet voters ranging from one vote to six votes as well as voters who have selected all eight of their choices.

Complimentary promotion and paid advertising

We have received enthusiastic feedback about the City Council/Mayoral Candidates Q&A that features all 24 candidates.  This service to provide space for all candidates to answer 20 questions was offered free of charge to help enlighten the community about many qualified citizens who want to serve.

All candidates are welcome to advertise in print and online upon request. Rates for paid advertising are featured online at http://www.positivelynaperville.com/election-voters-guide.

Advertising is what supports ink by the bucket, paper by the roll and distribution of the printed publication to 25,000 families and potential voters; as well as managing, designing and creating this open-source website.

Meanwhile, be sure to attend “meet and greets” whenever possible.  Most candidates are eager to meet you.

Thanks for reading. Yes. This election is kind of a big deal.

Post Script

Since PN placed its City Council / Mayoral Q&A and first two straw polls online, a number of inquiries have arrived off line about our city’s governing bodies.

According to the city’s website, “the City of Naperville operates under a Council-Manager form of government with eight departments working to support the city’s motto of ‘Great Service – All the Time.’”

Members of the City Council are policy-makers. Currently, City Manager Doug Krieger, appointed by the City Council, is responsible for executing the policies established by the City Council. The city’s website hosts an enlightening Q&A on Council/Manager Form of Government.

The city’s fiscal year currently runs May 1 to April 30. Stay tuned for the time when the city’s fiscal year changes to the coincide with the calendar year.

The City’s website also posts a handy pie chart that provides the breakdown of where local taxes are spent. According to 2014 explanations, the City of Naperville’s percentage based on township, county and school district is between 10 and 13 percent of the tax bill.

In addition, Naperville is served by the Naperville Park District as well as two school districts, Naperville Unit School District 203 and Indian Prairie Unit School District 204. All three of those governing and taxing bodies operate with boards and budgets mostly  independent of the City.

Also, Naperville is served by six townships, Naperville, Lisle, DuPage, Wheaton, Milton and Winfield.

Thanks for being in the know

Again, thanks for your interest to learn how Naperville is governed locally. Stay tuned to see how the wind blows.

Let us remind readers again PN’s straw polls are absolutely unofficial and unscientific;  yet, we do absolutely think every educated vote in this election is kind of a big deal.

Take a look at the PN Straw Polls.

—Your Positively Naperville Editors

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