Election season in Naperville enters main phase
By Susan Frick Carlman firstname.lastname@example.org March 2, 2013 8:00PM
District 203 Board of Education candidate Sabina Abdul Qadir, center right, introduces herself to the audience during a public forum at City Hall in Naperville on Wednesday, February 27, 2013. | Brian Powers~Sun-Times Media
Voters will have several opportunities in the coming weeks to learn more about those who seek to represent them on local governing boards. Here is a list of scheduled candidate forums.
Indian Prairie School District 204 Board of Education candidates — 7 p.m. at Waubonsie Valley High School. Hosted by Indian Prairie Education Association and Indian Prairie Classified Association.
Indian Prairie School District 204 Board of Education candidates — 7 p.m., Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., council chambers. The event will be telecast on Naperville’s government access channel, WCNC, and streamed live and made available for on-demand viewing through the city’s website, www.naperville.il.us/granicus.html. Hosted by the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation.
Naperville City Council candidates — 7 p.m., Naperville Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., council chambers. The event will be telecast on WCNC and streamed live and made available for on-demand viewing through the city’s website, www.naperville.il.us/granicus.html. Hosted by Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation.
School District 204 Board of Education candidates — 7 to 8:30 p.m., Crouse Education Center, 780 Shoreline Drive, Aurora. Hosted by Naperville League of Women Voters in partnership with Indian Prairie Parents’ Council.
Naperville School District 203 Board of Education candidates — 7 to 9 p.m., Naperville Central High School, 440 Aurora Ave., Naperville. Hosted by Naperville League of Women Voters in partnership with the District 203 Home & School Association.
Updated: April 8, 2013 5:58PM
The ballot order is set, the signs have started to go up and the political back-and-forth is under way. There’s no mistaking it: another local election round has begun.
The first of a series of candidate forums planned by the Naperville Area Homeowners Confederation in advance of the April 9 consolidated elections took place this week, and other similar events are scheduled by the city’s League of Women Voters chapter. Candidates for positions on municipal, township, park district and school boards have established Facebook pages and campaign websites.
Local office hopefuls are aiming high, although no one is predicting a voter turnout this time on par with what was seen last November, when about 70 percent of DuPage County’s registered voters weighed in. Fewer than one in four typically come out for the consolidated local contests, according to the DuPage County Election Commission.
Local election official Pam LaFeber, Naperville’s city clerk, anticipates that pattern will be reflected once early voting begins at the Municipal Center on March 25. In the autumn cycle, 11,762 city residents cast their ballots in advance of Election Day. Will County residents vote in LaFeber’s office, and those who live in DuPage County use a meeting room on the building’s lower level.
“We had a record number of early voters last fall. I would expect fewer voters this spring,” LaFeber said in an email.
In all, DuPage and Will counties processed 87,854 ballots cast by early voters last fall.
Those who have not yet registered to vote will need to take care of that before March 13, if they plan to participate in the consolidated elections on April 9. Regular voter registration closes four weeks before the next election.
Naperville’s Municipal Center, 400 S. Eagle St., is one location where it can be done. In addition to 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, the City Clerk’s office will be open for special Saturday sign-up hours from 9 a.m. to noon March 9.
Among assorted sites, Will County residents can sign up to vote at a driver’s license issuing facility or the county clerk’s office, 302 N. Chicago St., Joliet.
In DuPage, registration can be done at the Election Commission offices, on the first floor of the Jack T. Knuepfer Administration Building, 421 N. County Farm Road in Wheaton; at the Aurora Board of Elections, 323 W. Galena Blvd.; and at most township and municipal offices and many public libraries.
A grace period option also is available for those who miss the regular deadline. Residents who opt for that will be required to cast their votes at the time they register.
Along with selecting those who will represent them in the community over the next few years, Naperville voters also will have a chance to change their minds about district representation. A November 2010 referendum asking whether residents would like to have the city divided into electoral districts, ending the existing entirely at-large representation of the City Council, found 28,236 voters in favor of the switch and 14,593 opposed. A recent effort to prevent the question from being posed again in April failed. However, in anticipation of the ward system’s implementation in 2015 as currently scheduled, all four of those chosen for the Council will serve two-year terms. After that, if the system stands, five Council members will be elected from their respective districts and three will be chosen at large.