In the news business — something I’ve been privileged to be a part of for the past 15 years — it is a basic truth that each day is different.
You really never know from one minute to the next how the day is going to go. Page 1A can be ready to go to press and then a news story breaks and reporters are heading in one direction to cover it as editors scramble to redo pages to get the news in.
You may be assigned to a project in the afternoon only to have it preempted by a pressing news story.
But with that being said, there is one component that has remained fairly consistent — lack of voter turnout.
Unless there is a very heated local issue on the ballot, pretty much each election that comes along — whether it be school board, city council, general or primary — tends to bring a low voter turnout.
What follows is disappointment from Clinton County Auditor Eric Van Lancker, who after prior elections has expressed his disbelief in how many shrug off their right to vote — their right to make a difference and be heard by using the voting booth.
Voters now have their chance to nominate party candidates as part of Iowa’s primary election.
So in order to help more people understand the process, here are some things voters need to know:
• Van Lancker’s office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today; the extended office hours are to accommodate late absentee voting.
• Also, absentee ballots must be postmarked by June 7.
• Also note that polling locations will be open from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesday. A reminder: Voters in Clinton’s Ward 2, Precinct 2 will now vote at Calvary Baptist Church, 1619 Second Ave. South, starting with the June 8 Primary Election. Voters in Clinton Ward 2, Precinct 2 previously voted at the Graphics Arts and Technology Center on Manufacturing Drive.
• Anyone who has not pre-registered to vote may vote at their polling location as an election day registrant.
Van Lancker told the Clinton Herald this week that voting in the primary election is just as important as going to the school board elections, city elections or the general election coming up Nov. 2. He points out that it’s our right and privilege as citizens of the United States to pick the leaders of our local, state and federal government.
If you are a voter who consistently exercises that right, good for you.
If you aren’t and either haven’t been to the polls for a while or maybe have never been, here’s your chance to be heard.
My suggestion would be to get involved.
It is your right to do so.
Don’t give that up.
This is Charlene Bielema’s weekly take on issues in the Clinton area. She is a Fulton, Ill., native and has been employed with the Clinton Herald since June 1995.
She has been the Herald’s editor since 2002.