Did you know that one of the effects of Illinois wanting to carry Obama into the presidency was that we moved the primary election from March to early February? But that move didn’t just impact the 2007 primary where Obama overwhelmingly won Illinois, it sticks with us today. February is notoriously a bad weather month and some speculate that is the real reason the primary was moved up. To all that, I say “GET OUT AND VOTE!” I don’t care who you vote for, write in your dog’s name, but get out there and cast a ballot so that our turn out numbers go up, up, up.
One of the impacts of moving the primary up to early February is that the deadline to register to vote also moved up…to early January, January 5th to be exact.
So who’s running? Outside of the big races that have generated headlines during the holiday season, it’s been a pretty quiet and sleepy run up to the primary. If you live in Chicago you can take a peek at the sample ballot [PDF] (GOP candidates start on page 16) and then you can start your research or flip a coin.
Most importantly I think it’s what we pay for our democracy to get out and vote. When you do go out and vote, please take your kid(s) if you can. There are so many things we role model for our kids and I believe adding in voting is a must. Since 2006, Illinois law says we can bring our kids under 10 with us into the booth. On top of that patriotic stance, I also believe, as a woman of color, I owe it to my foremothers and fathers who fought hard for me to even have the right to vote.
While even Tom Skilling doesn’t know what weather awaits us on February 2, 2010, I do know that we’ll be getting up a few minutes early so the three of us can vote. I hope you will too.