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I want to thank the more than 50,000 persons who used www.VoteforJudges.org for the November 2012 election. The voters retained all judges, but they barely retained those judges found not recommended by a majority of the groups evaluating judges. The voters are telling these judges that while they get another term, they need to focus on improving their judicial performance. They are sending a message that these judges should pay attention to the constructive criticisms offered by those groups which offer written explanations with their evaluation results. Tens of thousands of people will appear before these judges over the next six years. They deserve the highest quality judiciary possible.
Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice
Please note: For those of you who want to continue to follow the issues related to judicial performance, integrity, and independence, I suggest you visit www.chicagoappleseed.org.
Thank you for your interest in VoteForJudges.org, a project of the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. Nearly 60 judges are up for retention on the November 6th ballot, and, in addition, there are some contested races to fill judicial vacancies. If you have been to our website before, you know that we offer non-partisan information about all of the judicial candidates in Cook County.
If you find our website useful, please tell us (email@example.com). Also, consider supporting www.voteforjudges.org by making a tax-deductible charitable contribution to Chicago Appleseed by clicking http://www.chicagoappleseed.org/get-involved/donate/ -- the Donate button on our website, http://www.chicagoappleseed.org. Your contribution will enable Cook County residents to vote knowledgeably - and improve our courts.
How to Use VoteForJudges.org
Justice depends upon the quality and experience of our judges as well as their ability to make impartial decisions based upon their fair consideration of the facts and law in each case. A dozen bar groups evaluate judicial candidates on this basis and newspapers like the Chicago Tribune offer endorsements. You will find judicial evaluation results and endorsements under the Judicial Evaluations and Results tab, so that you have the information you need to vote for qualified judicial candidates.
In addition, we are also reporting the results of the Judicial Performance Commission of Cook County (JPC), a project of Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice. The JPC uses research-based judicial evaluations to provide constructive feedback about judicial performance to the judges being evaluated, their supervising judges, to the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, and to the public. Each judge's report includes a biography and a narrative describing the strengths and weaknesses of the judge's performance on the bench.
The JPC does not issue voter recommendations for judges seeking retention, but does provide detailed information about their judicial performance. For judges with difficulties on the bench, the JPC's report includes a judicial performance improvement plan. Some of the bar groups evaluating judicial candidates, including the Chicago Council of Lawyers, used the research results of the JPC. The report of the JPC is available to the community and is posted on VoteforJudges.org as a supplement to the evaluation ratings provided by the bar groups.
We understand that voting for judges takes time, but please take 10-15 minutes to review the information on www.VoteforJudges.org and decide which judges deserve to be retained or elected. Some voters choose to follow the results produced by a particular bar association or newspaper. Some voters review all of the evaluation results and focus on the handful of judges evaluated negatively by more than half of the bar groups. But no matter what approach a voter may use, we must elect and retain only qualified judges. To get more detailed information about the judges, voters can review the report issued by the Judicial Performance Commission of Cook County, newspaper endorsements, or the reports issued by the Chicago Council of Lawyers, the Chicago Bar Association, or the Illinois State Bar Association.
The quality and independence of our courts depends upon informed voters. VoteforJudges.org also includes information about judicial elections and media information about the judicial races. Early voting for the November 6th election begins on October 22.
Thank you for using our website.
Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice