Stephenson County, Illinois – We brought you an article earlier today that pertained to the number of people running for the office of President of the United States. There’s so much talk of having only two choices, when in reality there are a lot more than that to choose from.
While sure, perhaps consisting of candidates not on all ballots and some just write-ins, it’s an odd situation that the job of the highest position in our country, (a job which fewer than 0.00001% of the population could even do) sees more interest than a locally held position in the very town people actually live in.
A local position that, (if you do a good enough job at) could provide someone a nice comfortable life, with a decent income. Not all positions offer such opportunities, but a lot of them do.
In Stephenson County there is only one contested race during the upcoming November 8th local election. That position is for a County Board member for District B which is a race between Donald Ray Kraft and Ronnie J. Bush.
While most people spend all their energy on national elections, (such as the Presidential election) and with that energy spend their time complaining about having only two choices to choose from, locally we’re lucky in most cases to even have one willing to even take the job.
While on one side we fear who might actually become the next President, locally we don’t even give a thought to the very real possibility that no one will hold a needed position in our local, regional or state held government.
What if no one wanted to be a Judge, or say sit on the County Board?
What if no one wanted to be the Circuit Clerk of our county?
What if any one of the crucial positions that help keep our city running just one day up and decided not to show up for work.
We face many hurdles in our present lifetime. While so many spend their time complaining about government held positions and whether their tax money is being spent wisely, the reality is, only a few people in our entire county ever even care enough to run for office in the first place.
Increasingly distracted by political conflict, personalities, sound bites and scandal, as news coverage gets more sensationalized we will continue to lose trust in the institutional systems that once stood as the backbone to our societies too.
Political journalism is in a crisis. The coverage we see is increasingly about party politics and scandal. The way that politics is covered forces us to lose trust and interest in the process. As this continues we are likely to continue to detach from even the news except in times when it is in its most threatening and overwhelming forms. The rest we will simply become numb too.
In recent years, it’s been common for a third to 40 percent of state legislative seats to lack major party competition. It’s even worse during primary seasons, meaning legislators win re-election simply by showing up. In the four states that held legislative elections last year, 56 percent of the races went uncontested in the fall.
In North Carolina, exactly half of this year’s candidates for seats in the General Assembly can turn in early on Election Day – without an opponent, they had victory sewn up months ago. In South Carolina, 73 percent of candidates for state House and Senate don’t have an opponent this year. In Arkansas, it’s 70 percent. In Georgia, 68 percent.
Nationwide, more than 30 percent of the roughly 6,100 legislative seats on the Nov ballots have already been decided because there is only one candidate for the office, according to an Associated Press analysis.
There are only nine states where less than 10 percent of the elections for state legislature are uncontested, and in only three states – Hawaii, Nebraska and Louisiana – are there at least two candidates in every race.
Cynthia Cassell, a Republican from Grosse Pointe, Mich., said she spent only $3.99 for her long-shot state Senate campaign against Democratic incumbent Hansen Clarke of Detroit.
In Illinois, more than 60 percent of races for Illinois’ Statehouse will be uncontested in the November election. The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, or ICFPR, said only 39 percent of Illinois General Assembly races are contested. Compared to similar states, Illinois falls way behind. California has a 77 percent rate of competitive elections.
Point is, if we’re not careful, it might not be too far off in the distance where the headline reads, “In the Illinois town of Freeport, residents won’t have to worry about Big Government“.
It’s looking like No Government at all.
Early Voting is being conducted during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., now through November 7, 2016. Early Voting will also be conducted on Saturday October 29, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. until Noon and Saturday November 5, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
Early voting is open to all registered voters and there is no restriction as to who may vote early.
All inquiries should be directed to the Election Authority Stephenson County Clerk
50 West Douglas Street
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday