Voting is a fundamental right and an essential component of our representative Constitutional Republic. However, you may face difficulties when it comes to participating in the electoral process because it is so confusing. This is not your fault, it is a very common problem and we want to help clear up the confusion.

As we talk to voters in Ogle and Lee County we find that people are confused by the complexity of all the offices, different districts and people running, AND they don’t really understand WHAT the different offices are even supposed to do for them. Then it only gets worse when they try to find clarification on-line; all they do is get more confused by info that does not have anything to do with them personally, or it is outdated.

The first significant hurdle is the lack of understanding about all the offices that individuals are voting for. 

Here is a list of elected offices someone in Ogle and Lee County, Illinois, votes for, categorized as General Elections (even-year elections and primaries for County, Statewide, State Legislative, and Federal), and Consolidated (odd-year, local  elections),

Click on the office you have questions about. You will be taken to an easy to understand explanation of what that office is responsible for, and why it is important to vote for the right kind of person to fill that office.

General Elections (Even-Year Elections and Primaries):

County:

  1. County Offices:

Statewide:

  1. Governor
  2. Lieutenant Governor
  3. Attorney General
  4. Secretary of State
  5. Treasurer
  6. Comptroller

State Legislative:

  1. State Senator (representing Ogle County)
  2. State Representatives (representing Ogle County)

Federal:

  1. President
  2. U.S. Senate
  3. U. S. House of Representatives

Consolidated (Odd-Year Elections):

Consolidated elections in Illinois stand as a testament to the state’s commitment to local representation and the democratic process. This overview will delve into three key areas of focus: township offices, municipal offices for cities and villages, and local taxing bodies. It’s important to understand Illinois’ unique landscape with numerous taxing bodies, a reflection of the constitutional principle of “no taxation without representation.”

Township Offices:

Township elections in Illinois are vital to local governance, providing services tailored to community needs. Elected offices include:

  • Township Supervisor:
    • Leads township administration and oversees services.
  • Township Clerk:
    • Manages official records and administrative tasks.
  • Township Assessor:
    • Assesses property values for taxation.
  • Township Highway Commissioner:
    • Manages road maintenance and improvements.
  • Township Trustees:
    • Assist the Supervisor in governance.

Municipal Offices (Cities and Villages):

Elections for municipal offices empower residents to shape the direction of their cities and villages. Elected positions comprise:

  • Mayor or Village President:
    • Chief executive responsible for municipal leadership.
  • City Council or Board of Trustees:
    • Legislative body passing local ordinances.
  • City Clerk:
    • Maintains official records and handles administrative duties.
  • City Treasurer:
    • Manages municipal finances and budgets.
  • Aldermen, Council Members, or Trustees:
    • Elected representatives for specific wards or districts.
  • City Attorney:
    • Provides legal advice to the municipality.

Local Taxing Bodies:

Illinois boasts a multitude of taxing bodies, exceeding other states, embracing the principle of local representation. Elected offices in these taxing bodies include:

  • School Boards:
    • Shape education policies and oversee budgets.
  • Fire Protection District Trustees:
    • Oversee fire policies and emergency services.
  • Park District Commissioners:
    • Decide on park policies and recreational programs.
  • Library District Trustees:
    • Contribute to library policies and budgets.
  • Community College Trustees:
    • Govern community colleges, overseeing policies and budgets.

Illinois’ Taxing Body Complexity:

Illinois’ extensive list of taxing bodies can be confusing due to misalignments with other taxing districts. This complexity arises from a constitutional commitment to avoiding taxation without representation. While challenging to navigate, it ensures that local residents have a say in how their tax dollars are allocated for essential services.

In summary, consolidated elections in Illinois are a dynamic expression of local democracy. Residents engage in shaping their communities across township, municipal, and taxing body elections. The state’s commitment to representation ensures that, despite the complexity, every taxing body aligns with the constitutional principle of ensuring that residents have a voice in the taxation process.