If you’ve watched TV lately, you may have noticed there’s some sort of election campaign going on. Turns out that the whole thing culminates next Tuesday, Nov. 8, which is officially Election Day for the midterm election, also known in Illinois as the gubernatorial election, since the race for governor and deputy governor will be decided.

But there’s many, many more races at stake. There are U.S. House and Senate seats up for grabs, as well as elections for state representative, state senator and slew of statewide offices, from secretary of state to attorney general, treasurer and comptroller.

Suburban Cook County voters also have on their ballots the races for a number of Cook County Board posts, from president to commissioner to sheriff. There is the usual avalanche of judicial races on the ballot, including for the Circuit Court of Cook County and the Illinois Court of Appeals.

There’s also a referendum question on the ballot asking voters to approve a tax hike to support the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

What we’re saying here is that if you are 18 year or older, there’s no reason to sit this election out. There’s plenty at stake as we engage in our biannual exercise in forming a more perfect union.

Too often, we’ll see a big voter turnout for U.S. presidential elections and then paltry turnout for the midterms, where just as many important races are decided. These state-centric races often determine not just short-term policy, but they can result in long-term policies that may or may not be conducive to promoting democratic ideals.

It may seem at times that we’re stuck in a never-ending cycle of election campaigns, flooding our consciousness with campaign ads on TV, radio or wherever advertising is sold online.

Next spring, you’ll be asked to elect municipal officials. While those typically don’t come with TV and radio drama, your mailboxes will be sure to get filled, if there end up being contested local elections.

While heading to the polls either before or after work or school on Election Day on Nov. 8 can be a headache to be avoided, there’s still time to vote pretty much at your leisure at any of the nearby early voting sites in suburban Cook County.

If you live in the Cook County suburbs, you can visit any of them, and there are ones close to home in Brookfield, Lyons, Berwyn, Cicero, Hodgkins, Stickney and Maywood. They’re open every day of the week through Nov. 7, from 9 to 5 Monday through Saturday and from 10 to 4 on Sunday. 

Not registered to vote? You can do that at an early voting site, too. Really, there’s no excuse. Get out and vote.

Still want more info? Visit the Cook County Clerk’s website at cookcountyclerkil.gov/elections