The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

April 11, 2013

Few ballots make lots of decisions


DANVILLE — Members of the Danville City County, District 118 school board and many other community governmental bodies should expect a quiet couple of years ahead.

Tuesday’s municipal, school board and other local elections brought out few voters, even those the decisions made by the officials selected will directly effect everyone in the county.

In Danville, the number of voters tallied between 17 and 18 percent — and the number of registered voters falls far short of coming near the total number of eligible adults in the city.

That means each one of the few ballots cast Tuesday carries a weight far mightier than those cast hen the turnouts are higher.

People who don’t vote should not complain during the next two years at least. They had the opportunity to speak loud and clear by taking 5 minutes of their day Tuesday to mark a ballot. So council chambers and school board meeting rooms should be pretty quiet in the months ahead.

These dismal results stand as another reason why Illinois should move all of its elections to two-years cycles that will coincide with congressional races. The costs to local government will be reduced and the interest of the public will be increased. It’s a win-win all around.

It’s difficult to understand why so many people simply ignore the privilege of selecting their leaders.

We’ll get another chance to vote next year as local, state and federal races will fill the ballot. We need to make a better showing.