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Decision 2012: Voting Guides & Resources For Election Day

With just one day before the 2012 election, it is critical that voters read up on the candidates and issues that are on the ballot this year. Here, we round up info on key endorsements, voter guides and other pertinent info for voters before they head to their respective polling places tomorrow.  

With just one day before the 2012 election, it is critical that voters read up on the candidates and issues that are on the ballot this year. Here, we round up info on key endorsements, voter guides and other pertinent info for voters before they head to their respective polling places tomorrow.  

Illinois General Assembly and U.S. Congressional Candidates

If environmental issues are important to you, check out the Sierra Club's endorsements in the 2012 election. In some of the key Illinois congressional races, the environmental watchdog group endorsed challengers Tammy Duckworth (8th), Brad Schneider (10th), Bill Foster (11th) and Cheri Bustos (17th). The group also endorsed Democrat David Gill in the 13th congressional district. 

Voters seeking information on candidates can also visit Project Smart Vote, which allows you to input your address and provides a list of the candidates that will be on your ballot along with key information on the candidates, including biographical information, important votes they have made (if they are an incumbent), recent public statements, their ratings by groups and organizations, and campaign finances. This site also provides a very interesting Political Courage Test, which looks at how well the candidates have articulated their stances on the issues, calling out those who have not been clear about where they stand on important topics.

Vote411.org, which is affiliated with the League of Women Voters, also provides location-specific information on candidates. Users can put in their address and get information on the candidates that will be on their ballot. The site also allows votes to do side-by-side comparisons of where the office-seekers stand on certain issues.      

The Chicago Sun Times has stopped doing candidate endorsements, but the newspaper did invite statehouse, congressional and Cook County candidates to answer a questionnaire. Their answers can be found here.

Back in August, the SEIU Illinois State Council, which sponsors this web site, announced their endorsements for the 2012 general election, which is listed below:

U.S. House of Representatives

1st District—Bobby Rush (D)*

2nd District—Jesse Jackson Jr. (D)*

3rd District—Dan Lipinski (D)*

4th District—Luis Gutierrez (D)*

5th District—Mike Quigley (D)*

7th District—Danny Davis (D)*

8th District—Tammy Duckworth (D)

9th District—Jan Schakowsky (D)*

10th District –Brad Schneider (D)

11th District—Bill Foster (D)*

12th District—Bill Enyart (D)

13th District—David Gill (D)

17th District—Cheri Bustos (D)

Illinois House of Representatives

2nd District—Ed Acevedo (D)*

15th District—John D’Amico (D)*

16th District—Lou Lang (D)*

17th District—Laura Fine (D)

18th District—Robyn Gabel (D)*

20th District—Michael McAuliffe (R)*

22nd District—Michael J. Madigan (D)*

25th District—Barbara Flynn Currie (D)*

33rd District—Marcus Evans (D)*

35th District—Frances Ann Hurley (D)

40th District—Deborah Mell (D)*

45th District—Dennis Reboletti (R)*

46th District—Deborah O’Keefe Conroy (D)

52nd District—Dee Beaubien (independent)

55th District—Martin J. Moylan (D)

58th District—Scott Drury (D)

60th District—Rita Mayfield (D)*

72nd District—Patrick Verschoore (D)*

74th District—Donald L. Moffitt (R)*

76th District—Frank J. Mautino (D)*

77th District—Angelo “Skip” Saviano (R)*

78th District—Camille Lilly (D)*

79th District—Katherine “Kate” Cloonen (D)

84th District—Stephanie Kifowit (D)

91st District—Jennifer Groves Allison (D)

96th District—Sue Scherer (D)

98th District—Natalie A. Manley (D)

103rd District—Naomi Jakobsson (D)*

111th District—Daniel V. Beiser (D)*

113th District—Jay C. Hoffman (D)

114th District—Eddie Lee Jackson (D)*

117th District—John Bradley (D)*

Illinois State Senate

6th District—John Cullerton (D)*

8th District—Ira Silverstein (D)*

9th District—Dan Biss (D)

17th District—Donne Trotter (D)*

18th District—Bill Cunningham (D)

22nd District—Michael Noland (D)*

28th District—Dan Kotowski (D)*

29th District—Julie Morrison (D)

30th District—Terry Link (D)*

34th District—Steven “Steve” Stadelman (D)

36th District—Mike Jacobs (D)*

38th District—Christine Benson (D)

40th District—Toi W. Hutchinson (D)*

42nd District—Linda Holmes (D)*

43rd  District—Pat McGuire (D)*

46th District—David Koehler (D)*

47th District—John Sullivan (D)*

48th District—Andy Manar (D)

49th District—Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D)

52nd District—Michael Frerichs (D)*

56th District—Bill Haine (D)*

57th District—James Clayborne (D)*

59th District—Gary Forby (D)*

Indiana US Senate

Joe Donnelly (D)

Indiana US House of Representatives

1st District—Pete Visclosky (D)*

2nd District-—Brendan Mullen (D)

5th District—Scott Reske (D)

7th District—Andre Carson (D)*

8th District—David Crooks (D)

NOTE: The SEIU Illinois State Council does not issue endorsements in uncontested races where an incumbent holds office.


Judges need 60 percent of the vote in order to retain their seats for another six-year term. There are several judges seeking retention on the ballot this election cycle and, although not often covered in the media, there are resources for voters looking to make an informed decision in the ballot booth.

VoteforJudges.org, a project of the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice, offered a plethora of links on resources featuring information on the Illinois judicial races.

The Judicial Performance Commission of Cook County has also provided insight (PDF) on who should be retained, offering biographical data on each judge as well as information on their judicial background, strengths, weaknesses, and the group's final conclusion on whether the candidate should remain on the bench.

The Chicago Council for Lawyers has provided their analysis (in ballot order) on what judges should be on the bench. Click here for a detailed explanation on how they evaluated the judges and how each candidate ranked. 

The Alliance of Bar Associations also chimed in (PDF) on the judicial races with their own findings on who should be retained and who should be unseated. 

IllinoisJudges.net, a project of the Illinois Civil Justice League, asked the judicial candidates to answer a questionnaire and provided a list of who they think should be retained. 

JustPac, the political action committee of the Illinois Civil Justice League, has also endorsed (PDF) judges running for the state Supreme Court, Illinois Appellate Court, Cook County Circuit Court, and downstate circuit courts. 

The Chicago Tribune offered up their picks on who should be given another term on the bench, calling for 'no' votes for Cynthia Brim, Gloria Chevere, Rodney Hughes Brooks, Christopher Donnelly, Pamela Hill-Veal, and Lisa Ruble Murphy. The newspaper supports Democrat Mary Jane Theis' run for the state Supreme Court and also doles out an opinion on three subcircuit court races and an Illinois Appellate Court race.

Constitutional Amendment 49

Last month, we wrote up an explainer on the constitutional amendment that Illinois voters will see on the ballot. Both progressives and conservatives are urging voters to vote 'no' on constitutional amendment 49, which would require a three-fifths, or super majority, vote of approval by the General Assembly to make any increases in public employee pensions. As it stands now, only a simple majority, or one-half of the legislative vote, is needed to increase the pensions of state employees. This amendment would also apply to local governments, school boards and similar legislative bodies that vote on the pensions of city and county employees, educators and other public workers. A full detailing of the constitutional amendment by the Illinois State Board of Elections can be found here (PDF).

Image: AP/David Mercer


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