Friday, November 02, 2018

BallotReady compiles information regarding judicial candidates

The Chicago Tribune recently touted BallotReady as a resource for voters trying to make sense of the Cook County judicial ballot.

From the main screen (that's a snippet of the home page, above) a voter can enter his or her address and get information on every race that will be on the real ballot.

At least, that's the plan.

And it's very encouraging that this is the second go-round for BallotReady (I had a post about the site during the 2016 primary season). In my time covering this beat, ambitious groups tend to surface for this race or that one -- but go dark before the next election rolls around.


I spent some time with Ballot Ready noodling around the retention candidates. No, I did not go through them all.

But I did go through enough to see that, while there seems to be some information for every retention judge, every one that I reviewed was missing something. The Chicago Bar Aassociation rating. The Cook County Bar Association rating. The Black Women Lawyer's Association. The Decalogue Society. Someone. This one had 11 ratings, that one only 9. Some less than that. And when I thought I'd detected a pattern (no CBA ratings) the next several all had CBA ratings but missed one or more Alliance bar groups.

Also, the candidates are not listed in ballot order. Strangely, on my 'ballot,' the retention judges were listed first -- but there was a countywide vacancy inserted right underneath the Supreme Court and Appellate Court retention candidates.

And, unless I missed it, there were no links to the three bar groups that issue narrative ratings of candidates (the CBA, Chicago Council of Lawyers, and the ISBA). But BallotReady certainly provides a lot more information for Cook County judicial retention voters than most sources.

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