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Letter: A voter's guide to political canvassing

To the Editor:

For Illinois residents, Sept. 3, 2013 marked the official start of the 2014 political year. That is the day candidates began collecting signatures to get their names on the ballot.

Between now and the Primary Election on March 18, 2014, candidates will be knocking on doors to introduce themselves.

Talking with a candidate is the first step in becoming informed about your election choices. Walking neighborhoods takes time, thus showing the candidate’s personal commitment to serving the public. Talking with people at their doors is also a cost-effective, environmentally friendly way to meet voters.

When a candidate comes to your door, you should know that:

Political canvassing is, legally, not soliciting. A “No Soliciting” sign will not stop candidates from knocking on your door. If you do not want candidates to knock on your door, put up a “No Political Canvassing” sign.

If you do not want candidates to leave literature at your door, put up a “Leave No Political Literature” sign.

Candidates who knock on your door are taking their own time to help you learn where they stand on issues related to their race for election. If you want to change something in government, this is your chance to take a few minutes to learn where a candidate stands on an issue that is important to you. Of course, you do not have to speak with a candidate who comes to your door. Simply say that you are not interested and close the door.

If you do speak with a candidate at your door, you can maximize the visit by taking a few minutes to look up both the candidate and his or her opponent on the computer. This will give you an idea of how to compare your choices when it comes time to vote on March 18, 2014.

Missey Wilhelm


League of Women Voters of Wheaton

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