And I would like to thank The Chicagoist, the Chicago Tribune, and the Daily Northwestern for doing the research for me, along with the Cook County Clerk's office for letting candidates put up statements. This is how I make my choices for offices like Recorder of Deeds and Water Reclamation District Comissioner. I really like being able to vote corrupt people out of "minor" offices, and incompetent judges off the bench. It's exciting, knowing that a vote for Republican Richard Cox (I'm always glad when I can vote for a Republican or two, just because I don't want anyone to take my vote for granted) is a vote to dismantle the Recorder of Deeds office altogether, eliminating some conspicuous abuses of public funds, not to mention one six figure salary -- Cox has promised to take only a dollar.
It occured to me, as listened to my students talk yesterday about how futile it was to vote in Illinois because it wasn't a "swing state," and how the electoral college sucked... that the "swing state" thing really has very little to do with the electoral college. If we got rid of it and used the popular vote alone, then there would be no uncertainty in any state, in most elections, and everyone would feel like their vote was futile. Turnout would drop even lower than it already is. The real problem is all the advance polling, which is the only reason people feel like Illinois' results are a forgone conclusion.
I also wanted to remind the students that there are other elections, besides the presidential and senatorial ones. I wasn't a part of their conversation and anyway I'm the TA, so I kept my mouth shut. But I think they need to feel a little more local responsibility. I think they have a duty to vote out the current Cook County Recorder of Deeds.