Seniors: Vote.


Gabe Classon and Maya Nayak

See here for The Viking Logue’s full coverage of the 2021 consolidated elections.

Last November’s presidential election was one to remember. With a record number of dollars spent courting a record number of voters for control over the House, Senate, and Presidency, it is hard to overstate the vastness—and dizzying effect—of national politics. But when red and blue signs leave their lawns, northwest suburban voters often overlook the equally consequential races that come just five months after every national campaign: the down-ballot contests of the local consolidated election.

From school board members to mayors, clerks to commissioners, Cook County voters will choose local officials with immense impact on their day-to-day lives this April 6. In District 211, nine candidates vie for three seats on the Board of Education: Curtis Bradley, Denise Wilson, Robi Vollkommer, Kristen Steel, Jessica Hinkle, Roxanne Wittkamp, Amy Nelson, Anna Klimkowicz, and Tim Mc Gowan. The candidates elected to the Board will decide how taxpayers’ money is handled, how students return to school, and how the district deals with equity issues. Their decisions will directly affect every student and family in the district. The consolidated election is when the people choose them.

Or is it?

Nowhere near all eligible voters in the community cast their ballots in the last Board of Education race; only 13% of those registered to vote made their voices heard. They were the ruling elite—the kingmakers who ultimately controlled how the district was run. The other 87%—a silent majority—had no say in who represented them.

Shifts on the national level give hope that this can change. Once apathetic or disillusioned voters are seeking representation in the government. Consequently, in the 2020 presidential election, two-thirds of eligible voters cast their ballots—America’s greatest turnout in over a century. So I have a challenge to all those eligible to vote: let’s make April 6, 2021 a record breaker too.

We can start here, in the schools. Fremd’s class of 2021 numbers around 600. Approximately half are eligible to vote on April 6. Across the district, it is safe to say that there are well over a thousand seniors who have the chance to shape the future of our schools. Those votes matter. In 2019, a shift of just 294 votes could have changed the outcome of the District 211 Board race. For the District 15 race, that number was four.

The old adage “every vote counts” is especially true when it comes to local politics. So make your voice heard. Vote on April 6.

Get informed
Check who’s on your ballot
District 211 Board candidates answer The Logue’s questions
The Daily Herald’s election coverage
Palatine Area League of Women Voters’ candidate forums

Registration information
Check your registration status
Register to Vote online (deadline: March 21)
Register to vote in person at your precinct when you vote in person.
The deadline to register by mail has passed.

Voting information
Determine your precinct for in-person voting
Vote in person from 6 AM to 7 PM on April 6
Vote early starting March 22
Vote by mail: Request a mail ballot at least five days before the election. (You must already be registered to vote to request a mail ballot.)