The 2020 Illinois primaries are tomorrow – March 17, 2020. As always, I’d like to remind everyone that (a) Illinois state judges are ELECTED; and (b) because Cook County votes so predominantly Democratic, the primary elections are de facto elections for office.
To that end, I’d like to provide a link to a handful of bar associations’ “ratings/qualifications” pamphlets. It’s important to remember that bar associations are private associations of legal practitioners. So, while these ratings carry the important weight of experience and investment in the legal field, they are emphatically NOT governmental or “official” rating.
Bar association ratings generally just state whether they think a judicial candidate is “qualified” or not – so you may see multiple “qualified” candidates for the same office. That is intentional. The bar associations are merely trying to state whether each particular candidate is fit for the office they seek, not to explicitly endorse a particular candidate over another.
You can briefly review three-bar association guides below. Select one, print out the guide linked to it, and take to the polls with you to help you vote. If you needed my personal recommendation, I say go for the Chicago Bar Association (Click on the “March 17, 2020 Pocket Guide”) at the top of my list because it is the shortest and easiest to read.
- Chicago Bar Association (Click on the “March 17, 2020 Pocket Guide”) – https://www.chicagobar.org/chicagobar/CBA/Programs/Judicial_Evaluation/Judicial_Voters_Guide/CBA/JEC/Judicial_Voters_Guide.aspx
- Chicago Council of Lawyers – http://chicagocouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/CCL-sample-ballot2020-version1-with-correction.pdf
- Illinois State Bar Association – https://www.isba.org/sites/default/files/judicialevaluations/2020primary/ISBA%202020%20Cook%20Primary%20Election%20Ratings.pdf
However, please note there are a multitude of bar associations which are generally organized on the basis of geography, ideology, or identity. If interested, you can google “bar association __________” with whatever criterion you think would “speak” to you. Or, alternatively, go to VoteforJudge.com (ballot guide here: https://www.voteforjudges.org/#1582042744415-8fddcc23-8a11) for a multi-association summary of Illinois judicial recommendations.
Lastly, though it should go without saying, please exercise caution for yourself and others while voting. Your polling location should make voting a clean and quick process, but I would recommend you take additional precautions; e.g. hand sanitizer.