DeKALB – Voters may notice a few vacancies on their ballot when they step into the voting booth in April.
DeKalb County certified the preliminary ballot Thursday, and not only are several races lacking the minimum number of candidates, some don’t even have one running.
DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo said a solution to this problem is for interested residents to file to run as write-in candidates before the Thursday deadline. He said about six people have already done so.
Write-in votes count only if the person whose name is written in has filed to run. For their vote to count, the candidate’s name must be written exactly as it appears on the form filed with the clerk’s office.
As far as finding out who voters can write in on the ballot, Acardo said it is the candidate’s job to campaign and make their presence on the ballot known.
Voters will know if there is an eligible candidate if there is a write-in option on the ballot.
For races without enough candidates, as in the Sycamore School District 427 board race, Acardo said write-ins are still accepted, but the situation is a bit different.
“School districts have very specific requirements for how their boards are comprised,” he said.
Each ballot lists instructions for the voting process, as well as how many candidates can be chosen from each township. If a voter were to misinterpret the instructions, his or her vote may not count.
For school districts such District 427 and Somonauk School District 432, only a certain number of candidates can be elected from each township. For example, if a voter were to select four candidates from the same township, and the ballot instructs the voter to pick two, only the votes for the first two names listed would count.
“This is why it’s important to read through the ballot beforehand,” he said.
Acardo also encourages all residents to take advantage of www.votedekalb.com. He said they will be revamping and reorganizing the site in the coming weeks, but it’s still the best source for information about the election and candidates.
Although the sample ballot won’t be available for a few more weeks, visitors to the site can still select their unit to see who’s running for certain offices and receive more information about the election process.
Important Dates and Deadlines
Thursday: Last day to file as a write-in candidate
Feb. 28 to March 25: Absentee voting begins (In-person and by mail)
March 12: Last day to register to vote
March 25 to April 6: Early voting begins
April 4: Last day to apply for absentee ballot by mail
April 9: Election Day