By Paul Gorski
Many key 2014 election filing periods have just passed, which means the candidates have placed their names on the ballot and have started to campaign. I encourage you to learn more about the candidates and be prepared to vote in 2014. Save these dates: March 18, 2014, the General Primary Election; and Nov. 4, 2014, the General Election.
If you are not registered to vote, please register before the next election. Or, if you’ve moved recently, update your voter registration. Feb. 18, 2014 is the last day to register to vote to be eligible to vote in the 2014 General Primary Election. There a few ways to register or update your registration. The simplest way is to visit your local election office. Feb. 18 sounds like a long way off, but it will be here before you know it. Register to vote before February!
There are two election authorities in Winnebago County: one for Rockford residents and one for all other residents of Winnebago County. The county election office is at: 404 Elm St., Suite 104, Rockford (http://elections.winnebagocountyclerk.com/your-elections-office/). The Rockford Board of Election Commissioners is at: 301 S. Sixth St, Rockford (http://www.voterockford.com).
Illinois voters may vote “early” for many elections. There is “grace period registration” when a voter may register to vote and vote at the same time, and “early voting” when the election authorities open their offices and other selected locations for voting before the scheduled voting day. Both options give you more voting scheduling options.
Grace period registration/voting for the General Primary begins Feb. 19, 2014, and Early Voting begins March 3, 2014. Contact your election office to learn more about these options and where you may vote.
I also encourage you to contact candidates directly this election cycle, and not to rely solely on news reports or commentaries for your research. Most good candidates welcome the opportunity to speak with interested voters.
Paul Gorski (http://www.paulgorski.com) is a Cherry Valley Township resident who also authors the Tech-Friendly column seen in this newspaper.
From the Dec. 11-17, 2013, issue