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Local Editorials

Register, then get educated at voter forums

Voters have 3 weeks to make sure they are registered for the Nov. 6 election. Then, to cast an informed vote, voters should attend upcoming candidates’ forums.

The Nov. 6 election will be upon us in 7 weeks. If voters haven’t paid attention up until now, the time has come to start doing so.

First, are you registered to vote?

Are your loved ones, family and friends registered to vote?

People who recently moved into the area should check into this. So should teens who turned 18 since the last election in March, and people who are not certain of their status.

The deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Check with your county clerk’s office for details.

People may exercise the grace period registration and voting option. Grace period voting takes place between Oct. 10 and Nov. 3 at your county clerk’s office. A person who is qualified to vote may register to vote during that time frame, but they also must vote immediately after they register.

The increasingly popular early voting option is available for those who have previously registered to vote. Between Oct. 22 and Nov. 3, registered voters may show up at their county clerk’s office and cast ballots.

People who will be away from their precinct on Election Day and cannot avail themselves of the early voting option may apply for an absentee ballot. Your county clerk’s office has details.

That takes care of ensuring that you have the right to vote.

Now comes preparations to ensure that your vote is an informed one.

People will vote for president, U.S. representatives, state senators and representatives, county offices such as state’s attorney, recorder of deeds, coroner and circuit clerk, not to mention all seats on the county board. Several decisions regarding judicial posts and regional school superintendents also are slated to be on the ballot.

How are you going to choose the best candidates?

Voter forums are a good way to meet candidates and listen to their stories. Two such events are planned for next week.

A “Red, White and You” voter education forum will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24, at Sauk Valley Community College. Candidates from Whiteside, Lee and Carroll counties have been invited.

The college and the University of Illinois Extension partnered to present the forum.

The next night, the Sauk Valley Area Chamber of Commerce presents a Candidate Forum from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 25 at Centennial Auditorium, 1608 Fourth Ave., Sterling. Candidates are invited to state their positions on the issues, and the public will have a chance to ask questions.

We encourage solid attendance at forums such as these so people can assess the candidates and choose the best ones to solve the myriad problems that vex our government.

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