10/30/2014 02:30 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Shaw: Illinois Needs Responsible Voters

The 2014 Illinois statewide election is only days away, and the Better Government Association's Andy Shaw wants Illinoisans to think very carefully about their candidate choices before they vote. He says the state needs informed, responsible voters to make Illinois great.

From Shaw:

[C]itizens have to do their part by paying attention to the issues and voting for candidates who serve the public, not themselves.

Unfortunately, too many Illinois residents are disengaged from the process, and we're paying a high price for that -- literally -- in wasted and misdirected tax dollars...

Making Election Day registration and extended early voting permanent, and even easier; pursuing new campaign finance and redistricting initiatives; and reconfiguring election boards to eliminate conflicts and increase competition.

But let's face it -- at the end of the day, it still comes down to John and Jane Q. Public.

None of the reforms or civic initiatives can accomplish much if regular citizens don't use the power of the ballot box intelligently.

See more of Shaw's ideas about getting the public out to the polls on Election day at Reboot Illinois.

Illinoisans will need to be especially alert this year, as campaigns have pulled out all the stops to grab more votes than the other guy. The governor's race has recorded record spending. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner spent more than $35 million combined in the third quarter alone. Check out this video at Reboot Illinois to compare the 2014 election cycle's spending with the race in 2006.