Thumbs-up: To a relatively smooth election night. More than 70 percent of registered voters participated in this week's election, more than in 2012. About 20 percent voted before Election Day, but most waited until Tuesday to make the trip to their local polling place to cast a ballot. Although there were long lines at times at some polling stations, there were no major disruptions. This was the first election where people could actually register and vote at their polling place on Election Day, and that service did cause two local polling stations to remain open well after their scheduled 7 p.m. closing time. But if such measures enable more people to participate in the process, then they should continue. We were pleased to see so many votes cast with so few difficulties. Kudos to all those who voted, worked at one of the county's 40 polling places, and to DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson and his staff for having a nearly complete tally of countywide results posted online just after midnight.
Thumbs-down: To post-election mayhem. While we are pleased at our leaders dedication to ensuring a peaceful transition of power, not all of their backers have shown the same willingness – or not right away. Whether it is anti-Trump protesters blocking city streets, throwing bottles at police and burning American flags, or the stories that have spread on social media and in the news about racial intimidation and assault, we find it disheartening and many others do as well.
Thumbs-up: To the first football game played at Guaranteed Rate Field. There was an announced crowd of 10,180 on hand for the Huskies matchup with the rival Toledo Rockets on Wednesday at the recently renamed home of the Chicago White Sox. It was an interesting night that seemed to make a weeknight game accessible to Chicago-area fans. We don't mind a change in venue every now and then to make things interesting, but we also are mindful that taking home games out of DeKalb has a local economic impact. Still, it was a novel concept that drew a good crowd – even if the game ended in a 31-24 NIU loss.
Thumbs-down: To electing a judge who can not serve. Rhonda Crawford was the only name listed on the ballot this week in Cook County, and she won her election against a write-in candidate. But she can't be sworn in to the $180,000 job; Crawford, a law clerk, was fired from her job and had her law license suspended because she put on a black robe and posed as a judge to hear traffic cases. Electing judges is a stretch for voters anyway – often people know little about the candidates, and it's doubtful that many of the people who voted for Crawford knew she could not serve and that she had been disgraced. But there were no other names on the ballot, and it's hard enough to mount a write-in campaign for any office let alone a judgeship. Its a messy state of affairs. Being a judge is an important and prestigious position – we hope that whoever eventually fills the position is capable and qualified.