Wednesday, December 09, 2015

How can you find out what the challenges are?

This was a question raised as a comment to yesterday's post, and it's one I can even answer... up to a point.

Cook County Clerk David Orr maintains a great website (by Cook County standards, that's an understatement -- as everyone who has ever accessed our Circuit Clerk's website will solemnly agree) which lists all the ballot challenges and provides the next public hearing date in each case. Here is the link to the Electoral Board website maintained by the County Clerk's office:

Each candidate complaint is arranged by office sought -- objections for those seeking Cook County offices, for example are listed CC01, et seq.. All the judicial candidate objections are listed as JUD01, JUD02, JUD03 et seq.

Each docket number has embedded within it a link to the Complaint filed in each case.

Thus, for example, we find, in clicking on the challenge to the petitions of uncontested candidate Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon -- admit it, you were wondering about that one, too -- a single page complaint stating that the "objection is that Maureen O'Donoghue has proven to be an unreasonable States Attorney as demonstrated in her litigation of" one specified case in the Northern District of Illinois and two specified appeals before the 7th Circuit "leading any reasonable person to believe that MAUREEN O'DONOGHUE HANNON would be an unreasonable judge if she were successful in her nomination and possible election to the Court."

Well. Some challenges are more likely to succeed than others -- didn't I tell you that?

But the serious challenges are harder to evaluate, mainly because the appendices to the complaints, where all the real meat of a challenge is usually contained, are not included in the documents posted on line.

Of course, each one of these documents contains the names and addresses of hundreds or even thousands of persons, whether or not they are registered voters, whose privacy should not be disturbed.

So... while you will see the same allegations repeatedly... failed to file the required number of signatures... filed petitions with signatures of persons not registered to vote... signers resided outside district (very popular in subcircuit objections)... used improperly qualified circulators... and although there are certainly exceptions to this rule, it won't necessarily be easy to find out how strong any particular challenge may be until the process unfolds a bit more.

Postscript: Proving once again that I have the best readers on the Internet, while I was preparing this post, someone already provided the link to County Clerk Orr's Electoral Board website in the comments section to the preceding post.

1 comment:

John Smith said...

Maureen O'Donoghue Hannon is an exceptionable lawyer and will make an outstanding Circuit Court Judge. I'm sure the objector is upset that all three decisions didn't favor her.