The 2018 midterm election has started. With less than 35 days before Election Day, early voting in DuPage County has begun and in Cook County will begin soon. For locations and times, just google early voting in Illinois and you are set to act. 

Not registered to vote yet? No problem. Illinois offers online registration (Oct. 21 deadline) and same-day registration on Election Day, Nov. 6. With access to a computer or cellphone, the question of “how to vote” is easily answered. 

Why we should vote is self-evident if we consider the nature of the ongoing American experiment of self-governance. Our system relies upon an active and informed citizenry to function as designed – to have a government of the people, by the people, and for the people. 

We, the citizens, are the bosses of those we send to statehouses and Congress on our behalf. They are our employees, and it is our civic duty to hold them accountable for their job performance. The midterm election is the time to hire and fire.

When it comes to deciding who should be trusted to work for us, I have found five questions to be very telling:

What if we voted for candidates who act as if people mattered?

What if people mattered more than money and power? Would we have found a way to declare companies the same as people in order to remove all limits on special interest contributions to political campaigns and candidates?

What if children mattered more than the special interests of the fossil fuel industry? Would we continue to ignore the consensus of 98 percent of global scientists on the existential threat of climate change and refuse to take decisive action to combat it? 

What if students mattered more than guns? Would we continue to resist adopting common sense gun safety regulations that will protect people and our 2nd Amendment rights?

What if the reality of sexual assault of women mattered? Would we continue to ignore the fact that 1 in 6 women experience rape or attempted rape at least once during their lifetimes, with 98 percent of perpetrators never being charged?

Over the past 20 months, the party in power of all three branches of government in Washington, D.C., has answered these questions very clearly: profits over the health of people, guns over the lives of students, power for the few over justice for all. 

Talk to your friends and neighbors to make sure they’ll vote. Help register voters. Join a canvassing group to help elect Sean Casten in the 6th Congressional District (just west of Riverside) because Peter Roskam has failed to govern as if people mattered.

Every Day counts. Act now.

Tom Jacobs

Riverside