Plenty is at stake in April 6 consolidated election

Seventeen candidates are running for nine open seats on the library and school boards in Tuesday’s election.

Add in the uncontested candidates — one for village president, three for village board and three for four-year terms on the D181 school board — and you’re up to two dozen candidates on the ballot in just the most local races. Many other individuals are running for seats in township government, on the regional school board and on the College of DuPage Board.

Why this tally of open positions?

To stress the importance of heading to the polls on Tuesday, April 6 — or in the days between now and then if you prefer to vote early.

Local elections don’t generate the publicity that presidential ones do, but they are critically important. In fact, decisions made by village, library and school boards have a direct impact on residents’ day-to-day lives.

We’ve done our best to inform readers about the candidates and their positions by running more than 14 pages of articles and charts over the past nine weeks. We hosted a virtual candidates night for the 10 individuals running for the Hinsdale High School District 86 Board and another session for the two seeking the two-year term on the Community Consolidated Elementary District 181 Board (both are available on our YouTube channel). We’ve weighed in on which candidates we think are the best choices (see recap below). We’ve run extra letters pages so readers can support their favorites. All of our election coverage (with the exception of letters) is available online at under the Decision 2021 link.

Now it’s up to you.

Unfortunately, local races don’t generate the turnout national ones do. Compare the 15 percent who voted in DuPage County in the 2019 consolidated election with the almost 77 percent turnout for the 2020 presidential election.

And yet, the candidates elected for the library and two school districts have operating budgets that will approach a total of $750 million over the next four years, the length of time most candidates will serve. Don’t you want a say in who will be charge of allocating those resources?

If voting on Tuesday is not convenient — or you’re looking to avoid the crowds — early voting is available at several locations.

Touchscreen early voting for DuPage County residents will run through April 3 at Oak Brook Village Hall, 1200 Oak Brook Road, and Downers Grove Village Hall, 801 Burlington Ave .; and through April 5 at the Shops at Yorktown No. 42 in Lombard.

In-person early voting on paper ballots is available at the DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 Manchester Road, Wheaton. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through April 5.

The two closest early voting locations for Cook County residents are Brookfield Village Hall, 8820 Brookfield Ave. and Hodgkins Village Hall, 8990 Lyons St. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

Based on the number of letters to the editor we’ve received, residents are engaged in this election. Now they just need to head to the polls.