Excuse us for a just a moment while we slide up on our soapbox.
The city of Kankakee will have a new mayor in just a few short weeks. The campaign between the two candidates could not have been more fierce.
The campaigns of Republican Chris Curtis and Democrat incumbent Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong showed they had wholly different visions for the community and how it should progress.
And because the results of Tuesday’s election will mean the keys to the mayor’s office will change hands on May 3, there’s little doubt that major changes are in store for the city of Kankakee.
If chatter on social media is any indication, there’s a whole lot of city residents — and natives who have moved on — who have strong opinions on what those changes should and will be.
But, when the closed sign was hung on polling places throughout the city at 7 p.m. Tuesday, it seems that many didn’t really have opinions after all.
Let’s talk numbers.
The U.S. Census estimated the city’s population at 26,024 in 2019. It also estimated the number of persons in the city older than 18 at 19,206, give or take. (We reference that number because 18 is the legal voting age.)
So — again, an estimate — there are 19,206 people who could be registered to vote in Kankakee. But, there are just 13,485 registered voters in the community.
We made you muddle through all those numbers so that you would understand how truly mystifying the following figure is: Just 4,102 voters in the city of Kankakee showed up to vote in the mayoral election.
These 4,000 people made a decision that will impact the lives of 26,024 city residents for years to come.
And this is just one race in one community. Imagine the numbers if we looked at all the 13 contested races we covered in Wednesday’s edition.
And with that, we’ll put our soapbox away. But, we reserve the right to bring it back out after the next election.