Even for those of us whose communities have municipal elections (or those of us on the Far South Side) who have a chance to have a do-over election for a member of Congress, it will be thought of as just another Tuesday.
THAT’S BECAUSE WAY too many of us have that bit of Archie Bunker in us – as in actor Carroll O’Connor’s character whose many traits included a reluctance to vote for anything other than president.
Voter turnout for the special election to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr., in Congress is expected to be down.
One such report indicated that of the roughly 250,000 registered voters in the district (which stretches from 53rd Street in Chicago to the Kankakee/Iroquois county line), at most maybe 50,000 of them will actually bother to cast ballots.
Kankakee County officials say they expect about 10 percent of their registered voters to actually bother to turn out at the polling places.
I’M SURE THE weather forecasts calling for a 90 percent chance of rain on Tuesday that turns to snow with temperatures just barely over 30 degrees (which means freezing) will do more than their part to persuade many people who have the chance to cast ballots to think it’s not worth the bother.
This is an odd election cycle.
We have a campaign that is attracting national attention. It involves the replacement of a nationally-known name in Congress. It has gained the attention of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who sees it as a chance to undermine the political influence brandished by the National Rifle Association.
Yet I can’t help but wonder; do Noo Yawkers care more about this campaign than most people here?
THIS ELECTION CYCLE also is odd because we don’t have an Election Day mode going across the Chicago area. Some suburbs have municipal offices up for grabs – but most of those are non-partisan elections taking place come April 9.
As for Tuesday, there are a few towns such as Cicero or Calumet City where there is feisty attempts at campaign activity taking place. But a few stray towns just doesn’t get many people to believe that the future of our Republic is at stake on this day.
As for me, I didn’t cast any ballot for Tuesday. I live just outside of the Illinois Second Congressional District, which means I voted for my member of Congress (Bobby L. Rush) back in November. I don’t have to think about this until next year.
So in Chicago proper, this IS the only election going. Federal and Cook County posts were up for grabs last year, while state government offices will have their day come next year.
AS FOR THE city government positions, we picked Rahm Emanuel to be our mayor two years ago. He and the aldermen will have to regain our support in 2015. So 2013 is the year Chicago voters get a break.
Unless they have to pick from amongst 9th Ward Alderman Anthony Beale, former Congresswoman Debbie Halvorson from Crete, former state Rep. Robin Kelly from Matteson or any of the other minions who comprise the more-than-a-dozen people wishing they could get the Democratic nomination for the post on Capitol Hill.
I’m sure whichever candidate winds up being able to make a “victory” speech Tuesday night will claim to be expressing the “will” of the people. Yet with all the people who likely will sit on their duffs and do nothing, perhaps we ought to consider that the true “will” of the public.
We thought so much of this election that we couldn’t be bothered to vote. Perhaps that’s why we jokingly call it the Election Daze.