Election day is next Tuesday. Are you ready?
Have you studied the candidates so you can cast an informed vote? Have you checked their records and their positions on various issues that are key to the way that they’ll approach the job? Have you compared their backgrounds and experience to know if they’re prepared to handle the job?
If not, it’s time to get started.
To help with that process, we have included in this issue of The Leader-Union two pages of candidate profiles (pages 6A and 7A). Those profiles will further familiarize you with the local candidates in the races you’ll be voting on next Tuesday. In last week’s paper, we included a copy of the sample ballot, so that you’ll be familiar with the format when you enter the voting booth.
At the county level, two contested races head the ticket:
The first is the state’s attorney race. As a result of incumbent Steve Friedel’s decision not to seek a fourth term as state’s attorney, his assistant, J. Matthew Chancey (Democrat), and Joshua Morrison (Republican) are seeking the office. Chancey has served as Friedel’s assistant for 5½ years, and previously served in the Lake County state’s attorney’s office in several capacities since 1982. Morrison has been assistant state’s attorney in Sangamon County for nearly six years.
The second contest is the circuit clerk’s race. Incumbent Mary Sue Ruot (Democrat), who was deputy circuit clerk for 26 years and has served as circuit clerk for the past four years, is being challenged by Kathy Emerick (Republican).
Most positions on the Fayette County Board are not contested.
In the state senate race, incumbent Kyle McCarter (R–Lebanon) is being challenged by Danny Stover (D–Centralia) in the newly drawn 54th legislative district.
And in the congressional race, incumbent John Shimkus (R–Collinsville) is being challenged by Angela Michael (Democrat).
Back on the local level, rural Vandalia residents living west of the city are being asked to vote on whether they favor joining the Mulberry Grove Fire Protection District. Currently, those residents are not living in a fire protection district, and some are seeing their insurance rates being escalated as a result, even though they are served (and billed for those services) by the Vandalia Volunteer Fire Department. (Since this issue was added to the ballot, meetings have been held in Vandalia to explore the possibility of expanding the official coverage area of the VVFD by considering the establishment of a Vandalia fire protection district in the future.)
And finally, at the top of the national ticket, voters will have the opportunity to vote on a presidential candidate. Incumbent Barack Obama (Democrat) and his running mate Joe Biden are being challenged by Mitt Romney (Republican) and his running mate Paul Ryan.
As you can see, there are many reasons to take the time to go to the polls next Tuesday. It’s your civic duty, but it’s also an important election that has the potential to determine the course of our government and our nation during the next four years. Make sure your voice is heard as we make these important decisions.