It’s the Monday morning when students in Naperville’s public schools head back to class. It’s also the final day local voters can become educated before heading to the polls to vote in two big local races with the most choices: Naperville City Council and College of DuPage Board of Trustees.

Mid-afternoon on April 4, we stopped by the Naperville Municipal Center to check the numbers of registered voters who had cast their ballots between March 23 and the last day of Early Voting.

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Early Voting Judges welcomed a steady stream of registered voters to the Municipal Center Saturday afternoon.

The large white erase board revealed a day-by-day hand-written tally.  At the end of the day on Friday, April 3, 1,722 registered voters in DuPage County had voted.

The Early Voting Judges said that voting had been steady throughout Saturday when hours were 8AM-5PM. Voters arrived wanting to know if they could vote at that location for 12 hopefuls running to fill three seats on the College of DuPage.

Not only could they vote for trustees at College of DuPage, they could vote for 24 candidates running to fill the Naperville City Council where all nine seats, including Mayor, are up for election. The mayor and top four vote- getters will fill 4-year seats on City Council while the other four will fill 2-year seats, the result of two recent referendums— one to elect the Naperville City Council at-large and another that put into place term limits.

Other less competitive races are the school boards for District 203 and 204, Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners and the Regional School Board of Trustees.

When we left at 1:30PM, 1,874 voters had taken advantage of voting at the Municipal Center prior to Election Day on April 7.

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Using this unofficial, unscientific sampling of two at Quigley’s Irish Pub, 50 percent of Naperville’s registered voters cast early ballots. How many voters will end up voting by Tuesday?

After a lengthy campaign sometimes called ‘silly season,’ time is running out to be an informed voter.  Some of the candidates are predicting about 16 percent voter turnout in Naperville or about 15,000 voters.

Yet, there is still time for Naperville voters to prove the guesstimates wrong.  And thanks to an abundance of information in the candidates’ own unedited words both in print and during public forums, the electorate can still head to polls as educated voters.

What’s interesting is the candidates on the ballot provide a wealth of experience, dedication and skill sets; yet, various organizations and media outlets have endorsed a wide range of choices that set them apart. Your PN editors urge residents to take time on April 6 to review all candidates in print and on video.

For months, this website has chronicled the meet and greet opportunities, public forums, NCTV-17 interviews, candidate fundraisers and endorsements from other media outlets.  To get things going on January 3, this website posted  its Election and Voter’s Guide with “20 Questions,” a Q&A featuring all the 24 candidates for Naperville City Council in their own words, unedited, with their photo. We truly appreciate that they all participated so we could learn their strengths and commitments. Our city is blessed that so many hopefuls want to serve on our governing bodies.

If you visit the Election and Voter’s Guide, check out the Election News. For easy access, Election News is hyperlinked to other online info, too.

11 Reasons to Vote / 6AM- 7PM Tues., April 7

1. So you can complain…

If you think it’s time to spring for a change, informed voting is for you.

2. It’s your right…

Around the world, individuals have died for this privilege to participate in elections. In America, it’s your right.

3. Representation…

Find out who best will represent you. Make sure your concerns are their concerns— and get to know all of them.

4. To cancel out or show support for someone’s vote…

If unfavorable candidates are performing well in PN’s unofficial straw poll for City Council, vote in the Consolidated Election to be sure to cancel them out. (And vice versa!)

5. Be part of the solution …

Decisions are made by a majority of individuals who make themselves heard by voting. Be informed. Vote for the best candidates.

6.  Still, it’s your freedom to vote…

“Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”  —John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, 1961-1963

7. To discredit projections about low voter turnout in a local Consolidated Election…

Prove the analysts wrong who are forecasting low voter turnout!

8. If you don’t help elect local governing bodies, someone else will…

Why would you want someone else choosing the elected officials who will determine local public policy and approve budgets? Be an informed voter by getting to know all of the candidates.

9. Every vote counts…

Remember how terribly close the 2013 City Council Election was? For 2015, all nine seats, including Mayor, are up for election. Also vote for school board members, park district commissioners, College of DuPage trustees and Regional School Board trustees.

10. Sound off!

Your opinions matter. Talk to family, friends and neighbors. It’s time to speak your mind and be heard with your informed votes.

11. To help the community move forward…

No matter what the outcome of the race, be a good sport and take down all the campaign signs as quickly as possible!

Electioneering welcomes can-do messages with solutions

Thanks to all candidates for giving Naperville voters many choices during this historic election.  Vote!  It’s kind of a big deal.

Be informed! Vote between 6AM and 7PM Tues., April 7.  After 7PM, it will be too late.

Many happy returns.

—PN Editor, Stephanie Penick


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