Editorials

Election Day is when your money gets spent, and you likely don’t care

Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Voters can register at the polls with two pieces of ID, but if you haven’t been more engaged than that should you really be voting?
Polls are open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Voters can register at the polls with two pieces of ID, but if you haven’t been more engaged than that should you really be voting? File photo

If you don’t go vote your pocketbook between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, your pocketbook will be voted for you.

But the reality is most folks will be OK with accepting autopay. About 20 percent of the voters are expected to show up in St. Clair County, and about 25 percent in Madison County.

Go figure. Nothing impacts your home or your tax bill like this local election.

Madison County Clerk Debbie Ming-Mendoza gets a little miffed at the apathy for the consolidated elections. Besides a countywide school sales tax question, her county’s voters have 272 contested races for school boards, municipalities, townships and other local government units that directly impact people’s lives.

Contrast this election, where 1 in 4 to 5 of you will vote, to the November presidential and congressional election, where 2 in 3 St. Clair County and 3 in 4 Madison County voters went to the polls.

“I can’t remember the last time my congressman came to plow the snow on my street,” Ming-Mendoza said.

For St. Clair County residents, all those local elections have the added attraction of two countywide penny sales tax questions, one for school construction and one for public safety. About two-thirds of your property tax bill goes to the schools, and Tuesday’s election will put people on the school boards making those taxing and spending decisions for you.

So to those of you who didn’t bother to read about the candidates and questions, or who won’t be bothered to voice your informed or uninformed opinion at the polls, stay home and enjoy your day. The folks on the party bus and a few others will be glad to spend your money.

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