Eye On Illinois: Constituent needn’t be a passive role


What did we learn from this election in Illinois?

Although that question can be examined politically, it’s too early to do so productively. But it’s not premature to look at things from a procedural standpoint.

It’s generally important to compare elections based on cycles – to map 2022 against the last gubernatorial election year in 2018, rather than the presidential election in 2020 – but given the way COVID-19 mitigations affected approaches to elections, as well as the loss of a Congressional district, this year’s midterm vote should be seen as the first under the “new” normal, at least until things change again down the road.

Scott T. Holland

Scott T. Holland

As of Monday morning the Board of Elections reported receiving 1,188,187 ballots, which includes absentee (at a 62% return rate) and early in-person votes. Once everything is canvassed we can compare the final tally with 2018′s raw numbers as well as percentages from 2020 and possibly project how things might shift in the future.

The big picture numbers are total ballots and turnout percentage (2018 was 4,635,541, or 57.23%), which will be enough to assess voter involvement. But campaigns will closely watch breakdowns for mail-in ballots, early in-person votes and grace period and same-day registration in attempts to build future strategy around how and when people vote.

Average Illinoisans will see the effects of that work in their mailboxes, text messages, YouTube ads and legacy media such as newspapers and radio. We’re already seeing increased cooperation among print and broadcast journalists attempting to bolster group credibility while individual reporter numbers dwindle. Meanwhile candidates are increasingly selective about when and how they’ll message to voters.

All that said, today is an important transition. Although campaign season never ends, neither does the business of running a government. Election results turn people from candidates to public officials. In this year of new maps the incumbents who retain office have new constituents to meet, and whether you voted for them or against (or not at all) they still represent you.

Send an email. Follow social media. Sign up for a newsletter. Get on a mailing list. Legislators are theoretically accountable to everyone but in reality much more so to people they know and hear from regularly.

Constituent is not a passive role, and there’s no time like election afterglow to double down on your part in a representative government.

ON THIS DAY: The state’s largest recorded earthquake occurred Nov. 9, 1968. It registered a 5.4 on the Richter scale and affected 580,000 square miles, enough to reach into 23 states. It came from the New Madrid fault zone, but an April 2008 quake shed light on the Wabash Valley seismic zone. I’d love to hear from readers recalling the 1968 quake.

Scott T. Holland writes about state government issues for Shaw Media. Follow him on Twitter @sth749. He can be reached at sholland@shawmedia.com.

Media Feeds All

via Shaw Media Local https://ift.tt/CY1JAkV

November 9, 2022 at 05:06AM

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s