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posted: 1/27/2010 12:01 AM

Know about judges before you go vote

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With the Primary Election on Feb. 2, it's time to vote for qualified judges.

Illinois voters choose all Judges. Most judges receive their endorsements from either Democratic or Republican party and receive money from their party to campaign. They also raise funds or use their own personal money for their campaigns. This process does not always lead to the most qualified judges. Only qualified judges can ensure the integrity of our courts and keep them fair and impartial.

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The Alliance of Bar Associations for Judicial Screening makes up a summary from ten different independent associations with there recommendations based on the judges qualifications. These recommendations range from Highly Qualified or Highly Recommended to Not Qualified or Not Recommended. The different associations include the Chicago Council of Lawyers, Illinois State Bar Association and the Cook County Bar Association etc.

There are many good judges running for office and they are rated as Highly Qualified or Highly Recommended but there are also many judges that have a Not Qualified or Not Recommended rating.

Every election I go through this process of picking judges to only find out after the election that many judges who all ten associations said were either Not Qualified or Not Recommended get elected. How can this Happen?

I ask people what judges they voted for and why and they tell me that they didn't know the judges would be on the ballot or where to find a rating for the judges.

In the February primary, there are (11) on the Democratic ballot and only (1) on the Republican ballot in Cook County. To give you some idea on the Republican ballot you have two candidates running to fill a vacancy one is rated as qualified and the other is rated as not qualified Most papers. including the Daily Herald, publish a summary chart of all the bar groups recommendation regarding judicial candidates.

You can also go to "voteforjudges.org."

It's up to you the voter to elect fair and impartial judges.

Mike Brown

Mount Prospect

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