Oct 20, 2022 - Politics

Judging the Illinois judicial guides

Illustration of a gavel with arrows and abstract shapes.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

We've all been there, staring at a screenful of unfamiliar judge names inside the voting booth and wishing we'd studied for this part of the civics test.

  • Guess? Leave it blank?

Why it matters: This doesn't have to be you. Many groups compile judicial recommendation lists from across the political spectrum, making it fairly easy to find one you trust.

  • You can read their lengthy analyses or just print out the list and take it into the booth. It's totally legal (we checked).

State of play: With control of the Illinois Supreme Court in play, this may be one of the most consequential judicial voting years yet.

  • And the election could get even hotter with a recent ruling that struck down contribution limits on judicial races.
Options across the spectrum
  • ๐Ÿ› Alliance of Bar Associations: A compilation of the recommendations of 13 bar associations in and around Cook County based on background checks, interviews and information supplied by candidates.
  • โš–๏ธ Injustice Watch: This progressive nonpartisan, nonprofit journalism organization rates judges on experience, community involvement, political connections, conduct and controversies.
  • ย ๐Ÿงช Illinois Right to Life Action: This site evaluates candidates based on their positions on reproductive rights, assisted suicide and stem cell research.
  • ๐Ÿ‘ง๐Ÿป Girl I Guess Voters Guide: Co-launched in 2018 by speaker, writer and lesbian Stephanie Skora to "appeal to progressives, leftists, and radicals," this guide has grown into something much bigger.

Of note: You can vote early at two downtown Board of Elections sites now or in 50 early voting spots opening citywide Monday.

  • If you're waiting until Election Day, keep in mind that the number of Chicago polling locations has shrunk by 10%.
  • Check here to see if your old polling place is still operating.
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