Judges are powerful officials whose decisions on the bench touch many aspects of life, from traffic tickets to divorces, lawsuits, evictions, and criminal cases. They have the power to take someone’s freedom, enforce or overturn state laws, and correct or perpetuate injustices. Yet there are few places to get information about the people running for judge. That's why Injustice Watch created this guide to the Nov. 8, 2022, Cook County judicial elections.
This year, 61 judges are running for retention in Cook County. Voters will be asked whether each judge should remain on the bench. A judge must receive 60% “yes” votes to keep their seat. (Voters in the northwest Cook County suburbs also will choose between a Democratic and Republican candidate for a vacant circuit court seat. All other candidates running for judicial vacancies are unopposed.)
Our team spent months researching each judge’s legal experience, community involvement, political connections, conduct, and controversies. We sent every judge a survey asking how they’ve worked to counteract the disparities in the court system. And we collected recommendations from bar associations, groups of lawyers who interview and rate judicial candidates.
Here’s everything you need to be an informed voter.