Early voting began yesterday and according to some experts, many opponents are running unopposed, the Better Government Associaton (BGA) reported. Meanwhile, voter turnout is expected to be low in many municipalities.
In Niles, two candidates are competing on the ballot to be mayor, and Morton Grove also has two candidates vying for the mayoral spot. And while Niles has six candidates running for three trustee slots, the Morton Grove trustee race is unopposed.
"The Better Government Association looked at all 2,001 elected positions from 486 units of government up for election on the April 9 consolidated ballots. The BGA – a Chicago-based nonprofit that exposes problems in the public sector and proposes solutions – found that 1,110 of those positions are unopposed, and another 60 have no candidate at all.
That means more than half – 58 percent to be exact – of those 2,001 elected positions are unopposed or have no candidate."
There are more than 990 races on the municipal and township seats. There are also 38 local referenda on topics including electricity aggregation, home rule and video gambling.
"While turnout is usually low for the April election, the stakes are extremely high," said Cook County Clerk David Orr. "The outcome of these races determines everything from education policy to local tax and infrastructure decisions. Voters should have their say at the polls."
Early Voting continues daily through April 6.
There are 43 Early Voting sites in suburban Cook County plus the Clerk's downtown office, 69 W. Washington, Chicago. All Early Voting sites are open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Seven sites have hours on Sunday, March 31.
Any eligible, registered voter may vote early without an excuse. Voters can verify their registration using the Voter Information tool.
Early voters must display valid government-issued photo identification before voting, such as a current driver's license, state-issued ID or U.S. passport.
Voters who cast a ballot during Early Voting may not vote on Election Day or vote by mail.
In addition to local contests, the race to fill the 2nd Congressional District is on the ballot in 263 precincts in suburban Cook County. The district extends into the city of Chicago, Will and Kankakee counties. While suburban Cook County voters can vote at one of the suburban Cook County Early Voting sites, Chicago residents must vote at one of the city's Early Voting sites.