Are you ready for the April 4 election? If not, you have less than two weeks to ensure you are an informed voter.
Here are some Cliffs Notes to get you through.
The News-Democrat has gathered a lot of information to let you read and watch what candidates have to say. If you haven’t yet read it, go through your recycling pile or find it at bnd.com/election.
There are candidate forums coming up next week.
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Belleville’s mayor candidates will debate 7-8 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium at Lindenwood University-Belleville. Few tickets remain, but it will be streamed live and video and news stories will be available afterward.
The following night — Wednesday — Swansea has a trustee candidate forum and then mayor and clerk candidates Thursday night. The events are 7-9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday at the Thompson Civic Center, 1501 Caseyville Avenue, in Melvin Price Memorial Park in Swansea.
All the entities that most directly hit your wallet are part of the April 4 election. We elect the people you entrust with our children’s educations and who determine how much you pay for it — schools average two-thirds of your property tax bill. Municipal leaders, fire and school districts seeking more money, the penny sales taxes for school construction in St. Clair and Madison counties plus the penny tax for St. Clair County law enforcement are all on the ballot.
Voting is your money’s best defense, the best hope for your community’s well-being and your chance to counter fraudulent votes, but only if you take the time to make informed decisions.