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Our view: Be informed, ready to vote

Published: Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012 5:30 a.m. CDT

The Nov. 6 election will be upon us in a little more than six weeks. If voters haven’t paid attention up until now, the time has come to start doing so.

First, are you registered to vote?

Are your loved ones, family and friends registered to vote?

People who recently moved into the area should check into this. So should teens who turned 18 since the last election in March, and people who are not certain of their status.

The deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 9. Check with the McHenry County Clerk’s Office for details.

People may exercise the grace period registration and voting option. Grace period voting takes place between Oct. 10 and Nov. 3 at the County Clerk’s Office. A person who is qualified to vote may register to vote during that time frame, but he or she also must vote immediately after registering.

The increasingly popular early voting option is available for those who have previously registered to vote. Between Oct. 22 and Nov. 3, registered voters may show up at their county clerk’s office and other selected sites and cast ballots.

People who will be away from their precinct on Election Day and cannot avail themselves of the early voting option may apply for an absentee ballot. Once again, the County Clerk’s office has details.

That takes care of ensuring that you have the right to vote.

Now comes preparations to ensure that your vote is an informed one.

McHenry County residents will vote for president, U.S. representatives, state senators and representatives, countywide offices, and County Board members by district.

How are you going to choose the best candidates in contested races?

One way to get informed is to visit www.NWHerald.com/election. At that site, we’ve uploaded candidates’ responses to our questionnaires. This past week and into next, members of the Northwest Herald’s Editorial Board have been meeting with candidates by race. Each of these meetings are being videotaped, and the videos will be uploaded soon.

It’s everyone’s responsibility to help elect the best possible candidates to elected office.

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