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Olson: Don't throw your vote away this time

Published: Friday, March 10, 2017 12:01 a.m. CDT

A couple of candidates for office have told us recently that they no longer want to be elected. So they’ve written us letters or posted on Facebook that they’ve withdrawn from the race.

Scott Campbell sent a Letter to the Editor in which he stated the reasons he would bow out: He thought there were other people running he would vote for ahead of himself. That’s a very candid and respectable reason.

Michael “Max” Maxwell, formerly a candidate for 6th Ward alderman in DeKalb, sent an email to reporter Drew Zimmerman telling him he planned to leave the race, saying work obligations prevented him from dedicating enough time to do the job right.

Fair enough.

The deadline to have your name removed from the ballot passed weeks ago, and people have been voting since February. So although Campbell and Maxwell both have told us they’re out of the running, their names still will be on DeKalb voters’ ballots now through April 4.

Those who want to drop their election bids at this point have to submit some written statement to their local election authority saying as much, DeKalb County Clerk Doug Johnson said.

“If they file paperwork with their election authority, wherever they filed their (nominating) petitions, withdrawing, then we won’t count the votes they do get,” Johnson said. “If they don’t file the paperwork, we will count the votes they get and they’re still a viable candidate and could win the election.” 

Johnson told me this week that his office had not yet received any written notice from any candidates stating that they no longer want anyone’s vote.

More than 200 people have voted so far at the DeKalb County Legislative Center in the Gathertorium, 200 N. Main St., Sycamore. Johnson said he’s hoping for double-digit voter turnout this year and seems confident that we’ll beat the 8 percent turnout we saw for the 2015 municipal elections.

I sure hope more of us vote than did that year. But when you do vote, try to avoid voting for anyone who said they don’t want to be elected.

Even someone who votes for third-party candidates would consider that throwing your vote away.

• Eric Olson is editor of the Daily Chronicle. Reach him at 815-756-4841, ext. 2257, email eolson@shawmedia.com, or follow him on Twitter @DC_Editor.

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