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Our View: Think of it as tax election

Published: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT

One way to look at it is as the “property tax” election.

We refer to the April 9 Consolidated Election that’s coming to a polling place near you.

Almost all offices up for election have to do with taxing bodies that get their share of your tax dollars each year from your real estate tax bill.

An exception is county government itself, whose representatives were elected in November.

If you review the list of governmental units on your tax bill, and compare them to a sample ballot for the April 9 election, you will see the names repeated:

• City government.

• Village government.

• Township government.

• Park districts.

• Public library districts.

• School districts.

• Community college districts.

• Fire protection districts.

All those governments take your tax dollars.

All those governments spend your tax dollars.

And many people who decide how that money will be spent will appear on the April 9 ballot.

Yet the people who make these important decisions often are selected by only a small percentage of the voting public.

In the last consolidated election in DeKalb County, in 2011, only 11.5 percent of the electorate – about 6,700 of the 57,800 eligible voters – showed up at the polls.

That doesn’t make sense to us. It is our money these government entities are spending, after all, and almost all of it is being spent for local use.

Further, its incredibly easy to vote. Beginning today and continuing for the next 45 days, voters can cast a ballot in these local elections. Pre-election voting is available at the DeKalb County Legislative Center at 200 N. Main St. in Sycamore through April 8, and the polls will open on Election Day April 9.

In order to vote in the April 9 election, you have to be registered. Residents who are not sure of their registration status need to check with the county clerk. The last day to register is March 12 – less than two weeks away. Even if you miss that deadline, there’s a grace period to register, which runs from March 13 to April 6.

People who register at that time must cast their ballot at the same time.

It has never been easier to vote, and although these elections might not have the glamor of the Presidential race, they have the potential to more directly affect our lives.

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