REALTORS® can take pride in the fact that statistics show that WE VOTE! That is so important and vital to ensuring that our elected officials will understand and support issues of importance to private property owners.
2012 marks an important election year due to the impact of redistricting.
As you are well aware, districts for all elected officials have been legislatively altered to reflect population shifts documented by the 2010 census. To illustrate, here are the changes in population from 2000 to the 2010 census for the five largest cities and the five largest counties since the 2000 census.
- Chicago 2,695,598 (-6.9%) | Cook County 5,376,741 (-3.4%)
- Aurora 197,899 (+38.4%) | DuPage County 916,924 (+1.4%)
- Rockford 152,871 (+1.8%) | Lake County 703,462 (+9.2%)
- Joliet 147,433 (+38.8%) | Will County 677,560 (+34.9%)
- Naperville 141,853 (+10.5%) | Kane County 515,269 (+27.5%)
Since legislative districts are required to be equal in population, boundaries had to be shifted. So, as a consequence you may either be voting for a new Congressman, State Senator or State Representative OR you may find that your district number has changed. To be sure, you can check at the State Board of Elections website by simply typing in your address: www.elections.il.gov/DistrictLocator/DistrictOfficialSearchByAddress.aspx
If you are NOT registered to vote please be sure to do so.
While registration is open all year, the last day to register to be eligible to vote in this spring’s primary election is Feb. 21. However, should you miss that date, Illinois does provide for a “grace period” to allow you to register or update your registration information (in case you moved) until March 13. Be sure to bring two forms of identification with you when you go to register. You can check your voter registration status online on the “Am I Registered to Vote in Illinois” link at the State Board of Elections website, www.elections.il.gov/.
Illinois voters will continue to have various options available to them for voting in the March 20, 2012 primary. Of course, you can go to your polling place on Election Day. If you will be out of town on that day you may apply for an absentee ballot OR you can take advantage of our “early voting” process. If you are interested in voting by absentee ballot, your local election authority must receive your request by mail by March 15. Illinois also allows you to vote “early” prior to the election at designated locations. The early voting period begins Feb. 27 and ends March 15. This option has become increasingly popular with voters!
As a reminder of the importance of this election, here are the offices on the ballot:
- All 18 of our members in Congress will be selected (Illinois lost one seat in Congress due to our population statistics);
- All of our 59 State Senators; and
- All 118 members of the Illinois House of Representatives.
Closer to home, there are many key elected local officers on the ballot and key referendum questions in some communities dealing with home rule and taxation.
Your fellow REALTORS® who make up the REALTORS® Political Action Committee Trustees will be meeting on Jan. 24 to discuss key election contests and to determine financial and grassroots support for worthy candidates. The Trustees, representing the entire state, take their duties very seriously and understand the importance of wisely spending the political action committee dollars raised through voluntary contributions of REALTORS®. Remember, REALTORS® can make a difference in this election!