LTE: Judicial Elections Important Too

On Tuesday, March 18, Illinois voters will have a chance to cast their ballot in the primary election for national, state and local offices.

Sadly, voters often overlook the many candidates running for retention or election as judges. This is unfortunate as judges make critical decisions that directly affect our daily lives. Learning about the qualifications of judicial candidates and voting for those who are most qualified will help ensure that we have a quality judiciary. Bar association evaluations and newspaper endorsements are a reliable, independent and relevant source of information about the candidates’ qualifications.

As a way to help inform and educate voters outside of Cook County, the Illinois State Bar Association conducts an advisory poll in the circuit or district from which a candidate seeks retention or election. Polls are sent to ISBA members and non-ISBA lawyers who request a ballot. The poll reflects the opinion of those lawyers who choose to respond and not the opinion of ISBA. The ratings are readily available to the public at (In Cook County, an ISBA Judicial Evaluations committee uses the results of a questionnaire, background investigations, and in-person interviews to rate candidates for judicial offices.)

We encourage voters to download all these poll ratings and take them into the voting booth. The ratings provide guidance in selecting the most qualified persons as judges.

Hon. Thomas L. Brownfield, Chair
ISBA Judicial Advisory Polls Committee

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