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Local Column

Olson: Check Election Central before you cast your vote

There’s a lot of campaign season left to go, unless you’ve already voted.

I voted early once, when it first started, for the experience. Since then, I’ve mostly stuck to voting on Election Day. Why cut off debate any sooner than necessary, I figure.

Besides, I’d hate to vote early for someone, and then the day before the election, they do something like body-slam a reporter who’s asking them legitimate questions. That’s what Montana Rep. Greg Gianforte did in 2016. He won anyway, possibly because of early voting. Or ignorance.

Anyway, I’d rather not vote than risk voting for someone like that. If you’re not burdened by such concerns, there are five sites around the county where you can vote early. You can find them here at the DeKalb County clerk’s website,

If you haven’t voted yet, however, and want to learn more about the candidates before you do, we’ve compiled a lot of information for you on our Election Central website at

The site has biographical information, video of live interviews and questionnaire responses from local, state and federal candidates whose names appear on the ballot in DeKalb County. We tried to include all the candidates, including the Libertarians seeking state office. The Libertarians were very responsive.

Others didn’t bother to respond, which, while it tells you nothing about what they stand for, does tell you about their priorities. If they can’t be bothered to respond to press inquiries that reach thousands of people, why should we expect them to respond to a single person’s concern?

In recent weeks, our Editorial Board also has offered a series of candidate endorsements, which you can find on our website under “Opinions.” Not everyone agrees with the board’s choices, and that’s fine. There will be people who disagree with any candidate endorsement – nobody in a free society wins an election with 100 percent of the vote.

What’s important to note is that the institutional views of the Daily Chronicle and Shaw Media editorial boards are separate from our news reporting.

That’s probably a lot clearer to those who read us in print – where endorsements and editorials appear on separate “Opinions” pages – than for those who follow us on Facebook, where one story on the Chronicle page looks just like another.

If you’ve already voted, good for you for making your voice heard. If not, there’s still more than a week to go until Nov. 6. Take a few minutes to be informed and cast a vote.

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

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