Discourse / Editorials / October 23, 2008

Thoughts from the Embers: Your vote counts in Galesburg

As far as any of us in the Pub Office can remember, this might be the longest issue of TKS ever—at least as long as TKS has been a weekly paper. We have the special election guide done by Marilyn Webb’s 270 class to thank for that: they did a great job, and we should all be glad to get to know a little more about who will be on the ballot on Nov 4.

Online editor and Journalism 270 teacher’s assistant Matt Baker reported in his article that many students were less than enthusiastic about voting in Galesburg’s local elections. We can understand that: most of us will only spend these brief four years in Galesburg, a term length at most. Whatever box we check for county recorder and circuit court judge will probably not affect our time at Knox very much.

But what about Galesburg proper? Our vote counts just as much as that of any other Galesburg resident. There are 18,150 voters in Galesburg, our student body is more than 1,350, and there are just 1,704 voters in the fourth ward, where we all live. Look at the math: if we all registered in Galesburg, we could make up a significant bloc of the vote.

We’re not necessarily advocating banding together to turn Galesburg politics upside down. A goal like that is impractical at best and wacky at worst: we’d probably try to get Helmut elected if it were up to us. Still, with medium power comes medium responsibility: as Galesburg voters, we have a duty to learn something about the people running for local office. Most of us, hopefully, will turn out next month for the presidential election: we owe it to Galesburg to make informed decisions about the rest of the ballot as well.

Furthermore, we’d like to take this opportunity to formally burn incumbent State’s Attorney John Pepmeyer for completely blowing off reporter Annie Zak when she tried to interview him. We refuse to believe that a man running for office unopposed didn’t have five minutes to spare to talk to a newspaper representing a good chunk of his constituency.

Hey, Helmut, do you have any interest in running for state’s attorney?

TKS Staff

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