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Our View: Be prepared for this crucial election year

Saying your vote doesn’t count can’t be your excuse for not casting an informed ballot in the Nov. 6 election, which now is less than a month away. After all, if everyone thought that way, who would vote?

Of course, the biggest ticket item on the ballot is U.S. president. The federal government is $16 trillion in debt. The budget deficit is $1 trillion a year. Joblessness remains high. Which candidate has the best plan to fix our economy and get the country’s fiscal house in order?

Turnout usually is much stronger during presidential elections, but is 60 percent turnout good enough with so much at stake? Hardly.

DeKalb County voters also will elect their congressional representatives. Congressional redistricting has guaranteed the county will have at least one new representative because longtime Rep. Don Manzullo was defeated by Adam Kinzinger in the 16th Congressional District Republican Primary. Kinzinger, a sitting representative in the 11th District, now faces Democratic challenger Wanda Rohl, who has waged a spirited campaign despite a lack of party support.

The 16th District includes DeKalb, Genoa and most of DeKalb County to the south, north and west of the city.

The eastern part of the county – including Sycamore and Sandwich – will be in the redrawn 14th District, where Republican incumbent Randy Hultgren is opposed by Democrat Dennis Anderson.

Voters in southwest DeKalb – including most residents living south of Route 38 and west of Route 23 – will choose between Republican Tom Demmer and Democrat Tom Boken for 90th District state representative. The district also includes much of the rural land south of the city, and then jogs east to include Somonauk and Sandwich.

The election also will determine which party controls the DeKalb County Board. Republicans hold a 13-11 edge, but all 24 seats are up for election with seven of the board’s 12 districts featuring contested races.

If you haven’t registered to vote, you still can participate through grace-period voting, which takes place starting today through Nov. 3 at the county clerk’s office. A person who is qualified to vote may register to vote during that time frame, but the vote must take place immediately after registering.

If you’re already registered and Election Day voting presents a challenge, early voting is available between Oct. 22 and Nov. 3 at the DeKalb County Clerk’s Office and other selected sites.

Want to know more about the candidates? There are plenty of places to do research, including online at, where we have questionnaire responses and candidate bios.

Don’t wait until Election Day to determine whom you’re going to vote for. Start preparing now.

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