Members of the Illinois Association of REALTORS® (IAR) have long taken pride in the political strength of our organization. We have committed the resources and dollars to enable a strong lobbying presence at the Illinois Statehouse and at the local level. We have a formidable political action committee—the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).
We are “The Voice for Real Estate in Illinois.” And one other way in which we show our political power is…we VOTE!
Sixty-five percent of Illinois REALTORS® are registered to vote. In the 2010 General Election, nearly 70 percent of those registered turned out to vote. This is compared to a 51 percent turnout among voters overall. To elected officials, these are impressive numbers.
The news gets even better when we use our IAR Advocacy Program and RPAC dollars to enhance voter turnout among the IAR membership. In 2010, when RPAC of Illinois communicated with members through direct mail about specific candidates that RPAC is supporting, voter turnout among our membership was even higher. In two-thirds of the jurisdictions where RPAC-supported candidates ran and where members were sent a mail piece, the turnout among IAR members ranged from 65 to 90 percent.
Our efforts through the IAR Advocacy Program to get voters to weigh in on important municipal referenda such as home rule was effective as well in 2010. Home rule powers are often used by municipalities to regulate the transfer of real estate and sometimes these regulations can be heavy-handed and expensive for home sellers. When IAR sent a mail piece to voters urging them to vote a certain way on a ballot measure, the turnout in those municipalities was higher than the statewide average.
Voter analysis by Strategic Guidance Systems, a political consulting firm that specializes in data mine technology and polling services.