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Heimerman: Why did all of you vote?

Color me impressed, DeKalb County. You did it. Well, about one-fourth of you did it, and that’s a pretty sweet number in terms of voter turnout for a primary election.

The exact number, from DeKalb County Clerk and Recorder Doug Johnson, was
25.5 percent – with 14,467 of 56,809 registered voters casting ballots.

That’s a couple of ticks higher than last spring’s 23.46 percent turnout, and an overwhelming increase compared with 12 percent as recently as 2011.

Among my burning “Why” questions this morning is why did you vote? It’s a fair question, right? I’m never going to ask for whom you voted, but maybe you’ll indulge me on what drove you to the polling station.

Regardless of why, exactly, did the election of President Donald Trump spark your desire to take part?

Perhaps it’s a benefit of social media. When you see all those people in your Facebook feed rocking “I Voted” stickers, whether it’s fear of missing out, guilt or civic pride, you’re more likely to vote, I think.

Let me step out on a limb. Maybe the new generation of voters is as millennial as many claim. Maybe those turning 18 in the past couple of years are more civic-minded people.

Was there a race you were particularly passionate about? Because, frankly, the primary ballot left something to be desired, aside from an opportunity to weigh in on what might be the most expensive governor race in history. We had zero contested DeKalb County Board seats, which is awful – but that’s a whole different editorial.

Speaking of tangents, how cool is it that we’ll have two women vying for office this fall, when Rockford lawyer Sara Dady challenges Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger in the 16th Congressional District, and Naperville registered nurse Lauren Underwood takes on Republican U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren in the 14th Congressional District?

I digress.

Back to the point of this column, I’m just floating possibilities out there. Why did I vote? Because I care, short and simple. Your answer might be as brief, and it might be a veritable dissertation.

If you’d indulge me, send me an email and tell me why you voted in the primary – especially if it was your first time, or if there was one particular driving factor that got you to the polls.

• Christopher Heimerman is the editor of the Daily Chronicle. Call him at 815-756-4841, ext. 2221, email him at, or follow him on Twitter @CHeimermanDDC.

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