Judicial candidates might be among the most obscure names on your ballot, but these elections come with high stakes. Judges are powerful officials whose choices 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 judicial candidates running in Cook County’s primary elections on June 28, 2022.
Illinois voters elect judges every two years. This year, 75 candidates are running for 29 judicial vacancies in Cook County. Every voter will get to choose candidates to fill two appellate court seats and 10 circuit court seats. You may also have one or two subcircuit races on your ballot depending on where you live. Judges elected from subcircuits have the same responsibilities as other circuit court judges, but only people who live in that subcircuit can vote for them.
Our team spent months researching the candidates’ legal experience, community involvement, donors, political connections, conduct, and controversies. We sent every candidate a survey asking why they deserve your vote. 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.