Leaders urge people to vote in local election

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 5:18 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Believe it or not, the consolidated election in Illinois is less than six weeks away. That means both mail-in and early in person voting is underway.

“This is the opportunity to have your voice be heard in the community,” said Winnebago County Clerk Lori Gummow.

While many people only consider casting a vote during the presidential election, Winnebago County Clerk Lori Gummow thinks it’s equally important to vote for the officials who serve as the backbones of our community. “They’re going to be making decisions about taxes or roads, even light poles,” said Gummow.

Gummow says candidates in the election on April 4, even affect your child’s future. “These are the people that have direct impacts upon us, personally. It’s people from the school board, it’s people from the local municipalities,” said Gummow. This spring, the ballot also includes candidates in the running for city council, and village trustee.

“Our local candidates are here in our community, they live in our community,” said Precinct Committeeperson Tamir Bell. Bell is one of those home-grown representatives. It’s his community, too. That’s why he along with Inzombia Coffee Owner, Pete Dufo, encourage residents to exercise their right early, and will offer a free coffee to anyone who votes.

“He’s passionate about it, so it makes me passionate about it,”said Inzombia Coffee Owner Pete DuFoe. Bell and DuFoe say it’s as simple as bringing your “I voted” sticker to Inzombia, in downtown Rockford on State St.

However, voting early doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go out to the polls. In fact, Gummow says more than 8,000 residents can expect their mail-in ballots to arrive in the coming weeks.

“It’s still not enough. We really want to encourage people,” said Gummow. “If you are registered, get out and cast your ballot.”

Gummow adds if you got a mail-in ballot, but would rather vote in person, make sure to notify the county clerk’s office.