Do your civic duty: vote

The school year is over at most high schools and universities. Many adults are still working remotely. There aren’t piles of snow outside and rain isn’t expected in the Chicago area Tuesday.

There is no excuse. None whatsoever. Get out to your nearest polling place if you didn’t cast an early-vote ballot for the primary election. Perform your civic duty. Vote.

If you’re looking for some guidance, check out the WBEZ/Chicago Sun-Times crib sheet on 13 key races. Read our Sun-Times election coverage, and check out our voter guide.

Be an informed voter, for the sake of democracy. Ignore the naysayers who say voting doesn’t matter, the system is rigged, or give any other excuse for not exercising a right that too many of us take for granted.

Yes, many American citizens are still shell-shocked from the aftermath of the 2020 election. The Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and the ensuing political fallout continue to sting. The U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade last week only contributed to those feelings of despair and cynicism among many.

But local and state elections matter. We see that here in Illinois, for example, where abortion will remain legal due to our reproductive health care laws.

Whatever issues are important to you, keep them in mind when you vote. When federal policies fail or fall short, state and other local elected leaders can protect our freedoms and guide us on a different path.

Your voice does matter and will help determine who is on the ballot for November’s general election. You help choose how matters will shake out in Congress and in Springfield.

This year’s Illinois primary was moved from the third Tuesday in March to June 28 because of the delayed U.S. 2020 Census data that lawmakers needed to draw new congressional and other legislative districts.

The change makes this primary seem off-season. But it also gave Illinoisans more time to brush up on local and state races and decide which judges they’d like on the bench.

As our readers know, the Sun-Times is now an affiliate of Chicago Public Media and a partner with WBEZ, and as a nonprofit we can no longer make endorsements in political races.

That doesn’t mean we can’t remind you of the importance of voting.

In suburban Cook County, 60,142 residents cast an early vote ballot by Sunday, data from the Cook County Clerk showed.

City residents cast 98,512 early-vote ballots as of Sunday, according to the Chicago Board of Elections. That’s a drop-off from the same time in 2018, when the figure was 104,463.

We can do better on Tuesday. Pencil voting into your calendar.

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