Anderson: Shaw readers to determine questions for candidates

You, our readers, have a lot on your mind when it comes to what you want to know from this year’s crop of candidates seeking election this year, including U.S. Congress, governor, Illinois General Assembly and various county offices.

More than 1,400 of you already have completed our online Shaw Local Election 2022 Reader Survey ( We will use the results of our reader survey to determine what questions to ask the candidates in advance of the June 28 primary and the Nov. 8 general election.

We send candidates a list of questions, usually generated by reporters and editors, each election to get them on the record on a variety of issues. As we have done in the past, the candidates’ survey answers will be shared with readers in print and on our websites throughout the campaign season.

But the difference this year is the candidates will know the questions are coming from you – our readers and their constituents. You can use the candidates’ responses however you wish. But it’s our goal the answers will help inform you about the candidates.

We are renewing our commitment this year to cover the key issues and each candidate’s stance on the those points. Covering the personalities has less value, and no one should be left with the cleanup after the mudslinging. You need answers and facts. That’s how you can determine how to best use your vote for the future of our country, state and communities.

So, as we get ready for the 2022 election, we are asking readers what issues matter most to you. When you take the survey, please be candid with your responses. It will help us put focus into each question we ask the candidates.

For state and federal positions, we are asking for your priorities regarding: school curriculum, COVID-19 mitigations in schools and in public, teacher shortages, taxes, transportation, crime, inflation, supply chain issues, manufacturing, road, bridge and utility infrastructure, the health of local businesses, the job market, health care, gun laws, voting rights, race relations, the environment, fiscal responsibility, government transparency and ethics and social safety nets. You also have an opportunity to add other topics that are important to you.

At the county level, we are seeking your priorities concerning: taxes, transportation, crime, inflation, infrastructure, jobs, health care and other key issues.

There also is a question about COVID-19 and government’s role in fighting the pandemic and the virus’ impact on your life.

Meanwhile, we have some requests of you:

• Please register to vote. When it’s time, either vote in-person, by mail or take advantage of early voting opportunities.

• Consider being an election judge. Each year county clerks report having a shortage of election judges. The job does pay, and is a great way to give back to your community. To apply, check with your local election board or county clerk’s office.

Finally, your voice is important in other key ways, such as sharing your viewpoints on the issues through letters to the editor. In order to have as many voices published on our Opinion pages, we are asking you to keep your letters to a maximum of 250 words.

Here’s looking forward to a prosperous 2022 election year.

• Dennis Anderson is vice president of news & content development for the Shaw Local News Network. He can be reached at