WBEZ | Chicago Board of Elections http://www.wbez.org/tags/chicago-board-elections Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Why don't voters research judges? http://www.wbez.org/news/why-dont-voters-research-judges-103350 <p><p style="text-align: center; "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/ballot%20edit.jpg" style="height: 548px; width: 620px; " title="Judges on the Chicago ballot in the 2010 general election (Flickr/Shawn Calvert)" /></p><table align="left" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" style="margin-bottom: 15px; width: 310px; "><tbody><tr><td><script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8" src="http://static.polldaddy.com/p/6634617.js"></script><noscript><a href="http://polldaddy.com/poll/6634617/">Which of these elected offices do you research before voting?</a></noscript></td></tr></tbody></table><p>The first time I snuck into the voting booth with my Mom as a kid, the thing I noticed right away was how <em>long </em>we were in there. It seemed to take forever for her to pull all those levers (this was in New York, <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/04/nyregion/04machines.html">which had old school voting for a long time</a>). I remember thinking that it really shouldn&rsquo;t be such a drawn out process; after all, weren&rsquo;t we just there to vote for the new Mayor?<br /><br />It wasn&rsquo;t until (what I now view as) embarrassingly late in my education that I realized there was a lot more on that ballot than just the Mayor or the President. In the 2012&nbsp;<a href="http://www.elections.il.gov/ElectionInformation/OfficesUpForElection.aspx?ID=33">Illinois general election</a>, you&rsquo;ve got big ticket offices like President, Congress, State Representative and State Senator. For those races, you&rsquo;ve probably at least heard the name of one person running for office.<br /><br />But what about the down ballot offices, like Regional Superintendent of Schools, Water Reclamation Board, and my personal favorite, Trustee to the Levee and Sanitation District?</p><p><em><strong>A spotlight on judges</strong></em></p><p>The elected spots that most often slip through the cracks are the judges--what can feel like, looking at the ballot, to be hundreds and hundreds of judges.&nbsp;Filling vacancies, retaining judges, all of that has to happen for state supreme court, for appellate court and subcircuit court. Which means that you&rsquo;re not necessarily pitting one person against another; you&rsquo;re voting to see if someone should still be a judge. A <a href="http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=200052">Medill article from earlier this year noted that</a> on a Democratic ballot from 2008 in Cook County, just over 70 percent of voters voted to fill a vacancy in a circuit court judgeship race.</p><p>None of this is news to anyone who has voted. What might be surprising is the prevalence of people, educated and not, who vote without paying attention to these judges--despite how relatively simple it is to figure out who should be reelected.&nbsp;</p><p><em><strong>How to get more information</strong></em><br /><br />The nonpartisan website <a href="http://voteforjudges.org/">VoteforJudges.org</a> is a favorite site of mine, one that I discovered in college when I realized I&rsquo;d have to vote for a lot of positions I hadn&#39;t been forced to pay attention to by newsmedia. Vote for Judges provides links to reports on judges from the Judicial Performance Commission of Cook County, Chicago Bar Association, Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening. The former has fully written evaluations of judges, while the latter organizations rank people along the lines of Qualified and Not-Qualified, Recommended or Not Recommended. The Alliance shows recommendations from organizations like the Asian American Bar Association of the Greater Chicago&nbsp;Area (AABA), Black Women&rsquo;s Lawyers Association of Greater Chicago (BWLA) and&nbsp;Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago (LAGBAC), among others.</p><p>Judges are in a position to have a huge impact on the laws that our other elected officials spend a great deal of time pontificating about, but they remain generally nameless to the public at large, except those that end up presiding over high-profile cases. Names that become popular are usually associated with trials like that of former Governor Rod Blagojevich&#39;s (Judge Zagel), or Judge Locallo, the subject of the book <a href="http://books.google.com/books/about/Courtroom_302.html?id=nZJPBxjI270C"><em>Courtroom 302</em></a>.</p><p>But because most people aren&#39;t being inundated with the details of these &quot;races&quot; to retain or fill a judgeship, many don&#39;t know what to do when they get in the voting booth. They also can&#39;t use voting along party lines as a fallback because the judges you see on your ballot all align with your particular party.&nbsp;</p><p>So what do people do when they don&rsquo;t know anything about their judges? Well, in the words of one friend who shared Vote for Judges on Facebook, they stare &ldquo;blankly at the page on Nov 6th.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;The bottom line is there is a no one-stop shopping when it comes to finding this information. You have to dig for it,&rdquo; Travis Akin director of the watchdog group Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch told Illinois Watchdog for their piece <a href="http://watchdog.org/59562/il-judicial-elections-require-voters-to-research-and-follow-the-money/">&ldquo;Judicial elections require voters to research and follow the money.&rdquo; </a>&nbsp;&ldquo;And while we challenge people to do their homework, we&rsquo;re very much aware that not a whole lot of people are going to do that before they go to the polls.&rdquo;<br /><br />From mere crowdsourcing I&#39;ve done, a major way the people who vote at all for judges end up voting based simply off of names, via an implied race or sex. If you think more women and minorities should be elected, voting for people with names that appear female or Hispanic is a way to get that to happen (or, if you don&#39;t, to make it stop happening). To elaborate on how this doesn&#39;t help protect the interests of voters would be a big waste of words, so let&#39;s just leave that as a voting tactic that should probably be avoided.</p><p><em><strong>Tell us: do you do research?</strong></em></p><p>Voting for judges proves that in today&#39;s voting economy, though much coverage during elections surrounds whether people vote at all (<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/early-voting-begins-monday-illinois-103290">especially in Chicago</a>), what the media often pays less attention to is what voters are doing when they get in there--besides, of course, votes that occur down party lines for big tickets.</p><p>So we&#39;d like you to tell us: for what races do you do research? Fill out the poll in this post, which includes most everyone you&#39;ll see at one point or another on the ballot in Chicago, per <a href="http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/deo/Documents/CookCountyDirectoryofElectedOfficials2011.pdf">this list by the Cook County Clerk</a>. And for the coming election, you can also look up exactly who (and what &ldquo;Public Questions&rdquo;) will be on your ballot at the <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/">Chicago Elections</a> website.</p></p> Wed, 24 Oct 2012 14:30:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/why-dont-voters-research-judges-103350 Chicago election ballots in Hindi http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-election-ballots-hindi-96612 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2012-February/2012-02-21/ziggy1 134.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Voting ballots in Chicago will be printed in one more language starting with March’s primary election. Under Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act, certain minority groups must have access to ballots and voter assistance in their language.<br> <br> Chicago and Cook County were informed last year that based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Asian-Indian voters in the area fall into that category. Chicago already provides ballots and voter materials and assistance in Spanish and Chinese.</p><p>In fulfilling that mandate, the Chicago Election Board decided to use Hindi as the additional language.</p><p>"We had to come to one language that we would use for our voting equipment," said Kelly Bateman, Assistant Executive Director of the Chicago Election Board.</p><p>The option of voting in Hindi will be available citywide on touchscreen voting equipment and on paper ballots in 36 precincts. Voting assistance at those targeted precincts and on the <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/" target="_blank">election board's website</a> will be available in two other Indian languages, Gujarati and Urdu.</p><p>For election officials and community organizationa the challenge now is finding poll workers that speak Hindi, Urdu or Gujarati. Another challenge is encouraging voter registration and turnout within this community.</p><p>"Just because this language assistance is there doesn’t mean that everyone knows about it or uses it," said Ami Gandhi, Executive Director of the South Asian American Policy and Research Institute.</p></p> Tue, 21 Feb 2012 22:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-election-ballots-hindi-96612 Chicago, Cook County must offer ballots in a new language, but which one? http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-cook-county-must-offer-ballots-new-language-which-one-94116 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-16/forOdette.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Election officials in Cook County and the city of Chicago are rushing to comply with the latest elections-related mandate from the U.S. Department of Justice: to provide bilingual assistance to Asian Indians in time for the 2012 election.</p><p>“We need to get moving and get this process rolling,” said Kelly Bateman, Assistant Executive Director of the Chicago Board of Elections.&nbsp;“The election’s March 20, so you go back a good six weeks before the election, if not more,” added Bateman, referring to the Republican primary voting date in Illinois.</p><p>Bateman and her counterparts at the Cook County Clerk’s office have just a few weeks to translate all written materials and publicity pieces for the election. They also need to find bilingual poll workers and interpreters for election day to assist Indian immigrants who are registered voters. This assistance is currently available to Spanish-speaking and Chinese-speaking minorities, which qualify under <a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/sec_203/activ_203.php">Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act</a>.</p><p>The <a href="http://www.census.gov/rdo/pdf/PrescribedFlowFor203Determinations.pdf">federal formula</a> to determine which language groups get bilingual assistance depends on the number of voting age citizens with limited English proficiency, and the portion with less than a fifth-grade education. Until this year, the U.S. Census Bureau considered the data every ten years. Going forward, the determinations will be made every five years, based on data from the <a href="http://www.census.gov/acs/www/">American Community Survey</a>.</p><p>Bateman says her office is well-versed in providing this assistance, but accommodating Indian Americans may present some different challenges. “There could be 50-plus different types of languages or dialects in the Asian Indian language,” said Bateman. “So we need to narrow it down to one language that is recognizable and understandable by the community.”</p><p>The three most common languages spoken for Indians in Cook County are Hindi, Urdu and Gujarati, but there are dozens more, including Tamil, Punjabi, and Telugu, to name a few. And they’re not all united by a common written script, as with Chinese. So Bateman and officials with the election office in Cook County are getting knee-deep into the data to learn which precincts Indian Americans live in and which languages they speak.</p><p>Bateman says even though the written materials will only be translated into one language, poll workers and interpreters can help with others.</p><p>Bateman’s office and the Cook County Clerk’s office were surprised that Indian-Americans were the next group to qualify for language assistance. Based on numbers from the 2000 population survey, they expected Korean to be the next language.</p><p>“People can see that influx of Korean-Americans. If you go to Glenview and Northbrook, and also the Niles area, a lot of Korean businesses are booming in that area,” said Sik Sohn, Executive Director of the Korean American Resource and Cultural Center. “So that’s why I think that we expected that the Korean language would be added.”</p><p>Sohn is happy for his Indian-American counterparts, but he’s disappointed that Korean-Americans did not qualify for bilingual voting assistance. Sohn wants to see the latest data, and says based on that, he might appeal.</p><p>South Asian organizers say language access will overcome an important barrier that many Indian immigrants face when voting. But Chirayu Patel said there’s a bigger obstacle. “I think there was a lack of connection in terms of my voting, how does that affect the issues that I’m facing?”</p><p>Patel registered South Asian voters on Chicago’s far North Side for the 2006 midterm elections. He said many of them cared more about politics in India than what was happening in their congressional district.</p><p>“I think the biggest thing that we did was make that connection in terms of why voting, even if it’s at the local level, why that matters in terms of addressing the issues that you have,” Patel said.</p><p>Patel says it’s great that the feds are giving Indian-Americans a better chance to voice their opinions at the polls. The question is, will they use it?</p></p> Thu, 17 Nov 2011 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/chicago-cook-county-must-offer-ballots-new-language-which-one-94116 Asian Indians to gain election help http://www.wbez.org/story/asian-indians-gain-election-help-93829 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-November/2011-11-07/RS4265_Election 2010_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Cook County and Chicago election officials are on a tight deadline to meet a new requirement to offer language assistance to Asian Indians before the March primary. The Department of Justice has told the election offices that the minority group has met strict thresholds under <a href="http://www.justice.gov/crt/about/vot/42usc/subch_ib.php#anchor_1973aa-1a">Section 203 of the Voting Rights Act</a>, according to the latest numbers from the American Community Survey.</p><p>The law requires that the offices translate all written election materials, including voter registration forms and ballots, into the language spoken by the minority group. The offices will also have to provide translation of all pre-election publicity, as well as oral assistance through hotlines on election day. The Cook County Clerk’s Office and the Chicago Board of Elections already provide similar assistance for Spanish and Chinese.</p><p>But meeting the requirement for South Asians will be a bigger challenge, because of the diversity of languages spoken by Indian-American immigrants.&nbsp;</p><p>“There could be fifty-plus different languages or dialects in the Asian Indian language,” said Kelly Bateman, Assistant Executive Director of the Chicago Board of Elections. “So we need to narrow it down to one language that is recognizable and understandable by the community.”</p><p>According to the latest data from the <a href="http://www.census.gov/hhes/socdemo/language/data/acs/index.html">American Community Survey</a>, about 21,000 South Asians living in Cook County speak Urdu, about 18,000 speak Gujarati, and another 18,000 speak Hindi. &nbsp;Bateman says Chicago has enlisted a data survey company to identify the precincts where Indian-Americans are concentrated. With the company’s help and through partnerships with local Asian American organizations, the office will determine which language to translate the written materials to. Bateman said it’s possible that oral assistance will be provided in more than one language.</p><p>Bateman said the election office will have to move quickly on determining the language and translating materials. “The election’s March 20,” she said, referring to the Illinois primary election. “So you go back a good six weeks before the election, if not more.”</p><p>According to the <a href="http://www.aaichicago.org/index.php?option=com_content&amp;view=article&amp;id=40&amp;Itemid=188&amp;lang=en">Asian American Institute</a>, the Indian American population in Illinois increased 52 percent between 2000 and 2010, and about one-third of Indian-American voters in Cook County have limited proficiency in English.</p></p> Mon, 07 Nov 2011 22:32:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/asian-indians-gain-election-help-93829 An early voting check in with the Board of Elections http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/early-voting-check-board-elections <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/early-voting-booths AP.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Bad weather on an election day can also have a bad effect on politics by keeping voters away from the polls. In theory, early voting, which in the race for Chicago mayor got underway earlier this week, can encourage turnout. In practice it isn&rsquo;t clear whether early or absentee voting does prove a draw. <br /><br />To find out how early voting is going in this year&rsquo;s municipal election, <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> turned to Jim Allen, the spokesperson for the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/">Chicago Board of Elections</a>.</p></p> Tue, 01 Feb 2011 15:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/early-voting-check-board-elections Chicago Board of Election Commissioners http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2011/voter-resources/chicago-board-election-commissioners <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/polling place.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Find links to voting information at the <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/">Chicago Board of Election Commissioners</a>:</p><p><a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=170">Register to vote</a> or change your address or name by January 25, 2011.</p><p>Find your <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/voterinfo.php?language_type=en">polling place</a> or check your registration.</p><p>How to <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=169">vote absentee</a>.</p><p>Where and when to <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=9">vote early</a>.</p></p> Fri, 07 Jan 2011 18:59:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/election-2011/voter-resources/chicago-board-election-commissioners Rahm Emanuel allowed on ballot http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/rahm-emanuel-allowed-ballot <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/_CKP7473.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Rahm Emanuel will be allowed to have his name on the February ballot to run for Chicago mayor.</p><p>Thursday morning, the Chicago Board of Election unanimously gave its approval to allow Emanuel on the ballot.</p><p>Several objectors say Emanuel's political clout played a role in the decision, but Burt Odelson, an attorney trying to kick Emanuel off the ballot, stopped short of saying politics was a factor.</p><p>&quot;Though he may not have, in his mind, abandoned his residence, he did. I mean, legally, he did,&quot;&nbsp;Odelson said. &quot;He signed the lease, people are living there, he's not here. It's really quite simple.&quot;</p><p>Odelson said he will appeal the decision. He expects the challenge to go through the courts in the next five weeks.</p><p>Emanuel's attorneys say under the facts of the case, the same decision would've come down whether Emanuel were the White House chief of staff or a cook in the White House kitchen.</p><p>At a restaurant downtown, Emanuel said he's ready to focus on issues affecting voters.</p><p>&quot;They saw that I had worked for President Obama, that I owned a home here, payed property taxes here, that I was a congressman from here,&quot;&nbsp;Emanuel said. &quot;They made a decision. And the voters deserve the right to make their decision.&quot;</p><p>The board's decision comes after a recommendation was issued by the hearing officer late Wednesday night.</p><p>Joseph Morris ran the hearings over Emanue''s residency requirements, hearing from dozens of objectors. In his decision, Morris got into the nitty gritty of how the law defines a residence. Morris wrote the heart of the issue is whether Emanuel abandoned his North Side home more than a year before the upcoming municipal election when Emanuel went to Washington, D.C. to work in the White House.</p><p>But Morris wrote since Emanuel still owns the house, has a driver's license with that address on it, votes in elections based on that address, banks with that address and still has boxes of his things at that address, he's considered a resident of Chicago.</p></p> Thu, 23 Dec 2010 17:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/news/politics/rahm-emanuel-allowed-ballot Race for mayor: Who benefits most if candidates are bounced? http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/race-mayor-who-benefits-most-if-candidates-are-bounced <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/AP101113039859.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img height="340" width="512" title="" alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-December/2010-12-14/AP101113039859.jpg" /></p><p>The biggest fight yet in the 2011 Chicago Mayoral Ballot Battle begins today.&nbsp; That's when the Chicago Board of Elections will hold a hearing regarding the residency status of candidate Rahm Emanuel.&nbsp; At issue is whether Emanuel should be allowed a spot on the ballot in the 2011 mayoral race because he wasn't living in Chicago for one year prior to the election, as the law requires.</p><p>And while&nbsp; few campaigns are actively involved in the Emanuel challenge, you can be sure nearly all of them are keeping a very close eye on the proceedings.&nbsp; While they may or may not agree with the substance of the challenge, as the current front-runner in the race, the road to the Fifth Floor of City Hall gets a lot easier without Emanuel in the way.</p><p>Indeed, deciding whether to pursue a ballot challenge can be a complicated political calculation. One must consider both the benefits of mounting a challenge and winning - and the potential costs of mounting a challenge and losing.&nbsp; Either way, resources are drained and potential alliances are strained.&nbsp; And woe is the candidate who mounts an unsuccessful challenge to the eventual winner.&nbsp; You can kiss whatever leverage or clout you had good-bye.</p><p>A crowded field also helps some candidates.&nbsp; Rahm Emanuel, for one, benefits from the high number of prominent African American candidates in the race. &nbsp;Better to have them split the vote rather than face one strong contender.&nbsp;</p><p>Others harbor their secret desires, even if they choose not to act on them.</p><p>It's worth noting that while Emanuel is getting all the attention these days for his residency status, he's hardly the only big-name candidate facing a petition challenge.&nbsp; Others facing challenges include&nbsp; Roland Burris, Wilfredo de Jesus, Carol Moseley-Braun, and James Meeks.</p><p>So who would benefit most if any of these candidates were bounced?&nbsp;</p><p>As a little thought experiment - and political parlor game - we offer the following analysis for the leading candidates:</p><p><strong>Roland Burris:&nbsp;</strong> Carol Moseley-Braun, Danny Davis, James Meeks</p><p><strong>Carol Moseley-Braun:&nbsp;</strong> Roland Burris, Gery Chico, Danny Davis, James Meeks</p><p><strong>Wilfredo de Jesus: </strong>Miguel del Valle</p><p><strong>Rahm Emanuel:</strong>&nbsp; All</p><p><strong>James Meeks:</strong>&nbsp; Carol Moseley Braun, Gery Chico, Danny&nbsp;Davis</p><p>Note that Gary Chico,&nbsp;Danny&nbsp;Davis and Miguel Del Valle are the only top tier candidates not facing any petition challenges.</p><p>Hearings on the others are underway - and it should be noted that&nbsp; most observers expect&nbsp; these candidates to secure spots on the February 22nd ballot.&nbsp;</p><p>But thinking about the &quot;wish list&quot; can be a useful exercise for understanding the campaign ahead and how the candidates will try to position themselves amidst a large, diverse and competitive field.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><em>Clarification:&nbsp; An earlier version of this story didn't clearly articulate the nature of the ballot objection to Rahm Emanuel's candidacy for mayor.&nbsp; The first paragraph was edited to clarify and make that distinction.</em></p></p> Tue, 14 Dec 2010 16:05:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/race-mayor-who-benefits-most-if-candidates-are-bounced Tuesday is the final day to challenge candidate petitions http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen/tuesday-final-day-challenge-candidate-petitions <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/petition web_2.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Time is running out for candidates to try to kick their opponents off the February ballot in Chicago. Tuesday is <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_595.pdf">the deadline</a> for those objections to be filed.<br /><br />During the election four years ago for mayor and other city offices, 208 objections were filed with the Chicago Board of Elections. This year, about 50 percent more <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_3200.pdf">candidates filed</a> than in 2007,&nbsp; so expect significantly more objections.<br /><br />These challenges are often filed by people associated with opposing campaigns. it is a chance to narrow the field before any votes are cast.<br /><br />The stated <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_497.PDF">reasons for objections</a> vary: maybe the candidate forgot to file some paperwork, or turned it in too late; maybe some of the signatures the campaign collected appear to be forged; or maybe the candidate doesn't meet the residency requirement, as some have alleged against ex-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.<br /><br />The staff and commissioners at the election board will go through the objections, examine documents, hold hearings and make a ruling. Those rulings can then be appealed to the courts, meaning it'll likely be weeks before there's a final list of candidates.</p></p> Mon, 29 Nov 2010 06:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/aldermen/tuesday-final-day-challenge-candidate-petitions How to kick your opponent off the ballot http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/how-kick-your-opponent-ballot <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/Generic Ballot Box.JPG" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img style="width: 475px; height: 494px;" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2010-November/2010-11-28/Generic-Ballot-Box-final.jpg" alt="" title="" /></p><p>Now that the filing deadline for the 2011 Chicago municipal elections has come and gone, its time to turn our collective attention to one of the oldest and grandest traditions in our great representative democracy:&nbsp; knocking rival candidates off the ballot.</p><p>Didn't see that section in <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/home/histdox/fedpapers.html">The Federalist Papers</a>?&nbsp; Neither did we. &nbsp; But here in Illinois, the tradition of &quot;ballot bouncing&quot; is nearly as old as politics itself.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>And the <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_595.pdf">last day for campaigns to file objections to nominating petitions is Tuesday, November 30th</a>.&nbsp; That means campaigns are in engaged in a frenzied review of petitions, determining whether and how to mount a challenge - or a defense. The whole enterprise is a bit reminiscent of water polo or synchronized swimming:&nbsp; the real action happens underwater, out of view.</p><p>So, let's say you're a candidate in a competitive race hoping to kick a few challengers off the ballot - to help clear the field a bit (if not entirely).&nbsp; What are you looking for?</p><p>One of the first clues is the appearance of the ballot petitions themselves. &quot;The whole presentation has to be carefully put together and if it's not, right away, you know you should look at it further&quot;, says Richard K. Means, a veteran Cook&nbsp;County election attorney.&nbsp; Turning in petitions that <em>look </em>sloppy are often an indication that they <em>are</em> sloppy.&nbsp; When it comes to petition challenges, it seems you can judge a book by its cover.</p><p>Beyond that, you and your campaign staff are looking for a violation on any of the following list of technicalities:</p><p>- Petitions aren't notarized (Each page must be notarized)</p><p>- Petitions aren't bound (The must be bound)</p><p>- Petitions aren't paginated - and in numerical order (You get the idea...)</p><p>- Petition signer isn't registered to vote at the address shown</p><p>- Petition signer doesn't reside in the voting district</p><p>- Petition signer's signature isn't genuine</p><p>- Petition signer has signed the petitions more than once (You can sign only once - and for only one candidate in each race)</p><p>- Petition signer did not appear before the petition circulator in person (You must sign in the presence of the signature)</p><p>- Petition circulator isn't 18 years of age or older</p><p>- Petition cirulator isn't a U.S. citizen</p><p>- Petition circulator's address and/or signature isnt genuine</p><p>- Petition circulator did not appear before a Notary Public</p><p>- Petition circulator also circulated petitions for an opposing candidate</p><p>Any one of these violations could be enough to get an individual name, an individual page, or entire petitions disqualified.&nbsp; Add up enough of them, and a candidate could be bounced from the ballot because he no longer has the required number of petition signatures.&nbsp;</p><p>Currently, <a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/dm/general/document_3200.pdf">20 candidates have submitted petitions to run for Mayor</a>.&nbsp; Watch for that number to shrink considerably in the weeks ahead.&nbsp; That's because mayoral candidates in Chicago must submit 12,500 valid signatures to secure a spot on the municipal election ballot. For some, that's a hard threshold to reach - and sustain.</p><p><a href="http://www.chicagoelections.com/page.php?id=25">The first day of hearings in these matters is scheduled for December 6th</a>, and the process of challenges, hearings and court appeals moves quickly - very quickly.&nbsp; &quot;It has to go quickly because we know that for sure there will be an election Februrary 22nd&quot;, says Means.</p><p>What Chicagoans don't know for sure is who they'll be allowed to vote for.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Fri, 26 Nov 2010 21:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/best-game-town/how-kick-your-opponent-ballot