Tomorrow being Super Tuesday and all, and me living in Chicago where politics is everybody’s favorite full contact sport, particularly since all of our real sports teams suck, I thought I might share some helpful Chicago-specific election day links.
First, the awkwardly named Chicago Board of Elections Commissioners for the City of Chicago. If you enter a partial address on this page the site will return your polling place, all of your various and sundry wards and districts and precincts and sub-circuits, and most awesomely, you can generate a sample ballot for your particular polling location that will list every candidate for whom you can vote. (And while you’re at it, once you know your ward, go to the City Clerk of Chicago’s website and find out who your alderperson is so you know who to call and holler at the next time it snows and nobody bothers to shovel the sidewalks.)
Next head over to Vote for Judges. Judicial and retention elections are kind of a joke, I know, because you’re minding your business and doing your civic duty trying to vote for this that or the other thing and your ballot is ten feet long because there are 500,000 people you’ve never heard of who are up for judicial retention election so you either skip ’em or just vote to retain them all. While that’s understandable, we’ve got to do better. Judges have a considerable amount of power over your daily life, so you want to do your best to ensure that qualified and, as far as I’m concerned, bone-deep progressives are on the bench. At Vote for Judges, you can print a handy grid of the candidates and their judicial evaluations by local, regional, and minority bar associations. Consult the Grid to find out how your favorite bar associations evaluated the judges on your ballot and vote accordingly so that when you find yourself on the wrong end of a gavel, the person presiding over your trial isn’t some loony pants right-wing hate mongering legal ignoramus.
Then, you can also go to the Chicago Tribune’s Election Guide, put in your address, and faux-vote for all the candidates on your ballot. When you’re finished, you can print the completed ballot and take it in to the booth with you.
To help you decide, here are some endorsements and resources from local papers:
And here is my one endorsement: I think you should vote for Tommy Brewer as the Democratic candidate for State’s Attorney. Here’s the Chicago Defender’s endorsement of Brewer, and here’s a good article about him in the Reader.
And when it’s all over, if you think there’s been some shenanigans at your polling place, call the National Campaign for Fair Election’s Election Protection Hotline at 866-OUR-VOTE.