The April 9th consolidated elections are just two weeks away. Local elections may not be as exciting or glamorous as the big national elections, but they are just as important. So in order to make it as easy as possible for you to find out information about who will be on your ballot we have put together this helpful guide. We are focusing our attention on the 26 communities that make up the Moraine Valley Community College District and that are predominantly in Cook County, so if you live farther away and need information you may need to check out your local county website. (Will, DuPage)
First off, to find out who will be on your ballot you can go to the Cook County Clerk’s website and find your sample ballot either by using your last name and address or by using your last name, birthday, last four digits of your social security number and/or a state ID number.
Next you will find a number of tabs of information beginning with the Registration Status tab which will show you the location of your polling place. Clicking on the Sample Ballot Candidates tab will give you a list of all the candidates you will choose from when you go to vote. Clicking on the Sample Ballot Referenda tab will show you any local issues being put to a public vote.
Now that you know who you have to choose from on your ballot, how do you find out information about the candidates to help you choose? On your sample ballot, if you see a candidate’s name show up as a hotlink (i.e. blue and underlined) you can click on it to see a Candidate Statement. This statement may also contain links to additional information about the candidate. But not every candidate will have a statement. Additional information is sometimes available through local news sources. For example, the Southtown Star has questionnaires answered by the candidates in its readership area. But, again, not all candidates submitted answers to the Southtown Star’s questionnaire.
If you live in a community with a local Patch website, you might find more information there as well. Here are a few of the local Patch election sites that I was able to find.
Finally, if all else fails you can try your hand at using Google, Bing, or another search engine. Try putting the candidate’s name inside quotation marks and adding the word Candidate to your search. Most importantly, we hope you get out on April 9th and cast a ballot.