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Local Election

Election Day brings choices for DeKalb County voters

Election Day brings choices for DeKalb County voters

Election Day has arrived, meaning DeKalb County voters will have the chance to weigh in on several competitive local races and referendums deciding possible new tax rates.

Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Voters who have not yet registered have the option to do so at the polling place assigned to their precinct or at three available Election Day registration centers.

For a list of polling places, visit DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder Doug Johnson’s website.

Election Day registration centers are the DeKalb County Administration Building, 110 E. Sycamore St. in Sycamore; the Northern Illinois University Holmes Student Center Blackhawk Annex, 340 Carroll Ave. in DeKalb; and the DeKalb Township Building, 2323 S. Fourth St. in DeKalb.

The registration centers also will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. To register, two forms of identification must be presented, at least one containing a DeKalb County residential address.

Johnson said he hopes voter turnout will reach above 20 percent for this election.

“In 2015, we hit only an 8-percent turnout, but there were not that many contested races,” he said.

Voter turnout for the consolidated election in 2013 was 22 percent, and in 2011 it was 12 percent.

This year should see a higher turnout with contested mayor races in DeKalb, Sycamore and Cortland, as well as contested village president races in Kirkland and Waterman, Johnson said.

“2015 was a year when there really wasn’t anything on the ballot that motivated people,” he said. “With the amount of road and yard [campaign] signs I’ve seen this year, I can already tell there is more interest.”

Questionnaires for many of the candidates running in DeKalb County can be found on the Daily Chronicle’s website.

Johnson said he does not expect Election Day registration will result in long lines at the polls.

During the presidential election, polling places such as the Holmes Student Center were rushed with an influx of late voters, but there were no lines during the day, Johnson said.

DeKalb County saw a voter turnout of 71 percent for the 2016 general election.

“I would love to see long lines, but being a consolidated election, I don’t think there will be,” Johnson said.

In DeKalb, the four candidates vying to be the city’s next mayor are incumbent John Rey, Jerry Smith, Michael Embrey and Misty Haji-Sheikh.

The three-way competition for Sycamore mayor involves candidates Candy Smith, Curt Lang and Rick “Spider” Kramer, all competing to replace Ken Mundy, who is stepping down.

Cortland has two candidates competing to be the town’s mayor – incumbent Russell C. Stokes and Charmaine Fioretto.

In Waterman, candidates Peter S. Robinson, Darryl Beach and Christy L. Andrews are on the ballot to be village president.

In Kirkland, Ryan J. Block, Wanda McMurray and Harry Newberry are competing to be village president and replace longtime leader Les Bellah, who is stepping down.

Other prominent races include a nine-way competition for three open seats on the DeKalb School District 428 Board and a four-way competition for three open seats on the Kishwaukee College Board of Trustees.

Several referendums are on the ballot as well, including a property tax referendum for schools in Sandwich.

Another referendum will decide whether a tax increase should go to support the DeKalb County Health Department. If approved, the tax rate increase would cost taxpayers $9.57 for each $100,000 of equalized assessed value, bringing in $500,000 a year for public health services.

Johnson said he is looking forward to a smooth Election Day for voters.

“Voters in DeKalb County luckily have had consistency in voting methods,” he said. “Everyone is educated on our ways, and everyone is used to the polling places in their precincts.”

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