Note to readers: Sauk Valley Media presents the SVM Editorial Board Roundtable. Several members of the Editorial Board offer their responses to a question of the week. Some questions will be of a serious nature, and some won’t be. Members might agree on an issue one week, but not the next week. Regardless, we certainly encourage public feedback.
Peter Shaw, Shaw Media trustee, corporate strategy coordinator
I prefer to vote in person on Election Day. Since moving back to Dixon 5 years ago, I have really enjoyed going to my polling place, the back building of Bethel Church in Dixon, and taking turns with my wife as one of us watches the boys and the other votes.
This year will be the first that both boys are in school (since it is a Tuesday), and Jamie and I can find our own free moments to spend the 20 minutes it takes to invest in our democracy.
I am very happy that early voting options are being made more and more accessible, which enables more people to vote. Whether weeks before or the day of, the most important part of voting is that you do it. Well, that and the sticker. The sticker is pretty great. Now get out and vote!
Don Bricker, SVM publisher
I vote in every election. It is my belief that voting is an important benefit of our society. Many don't see the purpose in making an effort to vote, but I think it matters and could matter much more if we all took the time. Unfortunately, in many parts of the country, the largest segment of voters is not the conservatives, liberal or independents – it is the nonvoters.
When my only option was to go to the polls on Election Day, I made a point to do so. However, since early voting, and in some cases mail-in voting, began I've chosen those options. When I can vote by mail, it feels like it gives me the time to do a more complete and thoughtful job in my selections. This is especially true with more obscure races or initiatives where I can have research at my disposal to make a more informed decision.
There are many places in the world where there is no right to vote, and I think it is important we never take that right for granted.
Jennifer Heintzelman, SVM general manager
Election Day, how exciting! I grew up in a house where politics was discussed on a daily basis. On your 18th birthday, it was celebrated that you officially were a voting member of the household.
My first presidential election, I remember going to the polls with my grandfather. He gave me all of the ins and outs before we got there and, of course, he gave me his recommendations on who to vote for. My dad has carried on that tradition as I'm sure I will as well one day.
These days, Election Day starts for me in the morning at the polls. I like to make it my first stop before school drop-offs. My kids like to go in with me because they think the booth is cool. They ask a million questions about the ballot and how it is processed. I remind them every year how important it is to vote and I share with them who I voted for and why. I think my son likes to get the "I Voted" sticker as much as I do. We wear them proudly for the day to remind others how important the process is. Plus, in my family, if you don't vote, you don't get a voice in any of our political debates.