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How many times do you feel that aside from the major presidential candidates, you simply have no clue of who else is listed on your ballot?

It’s like taking a test that you are not prepared for. The first few names might seem familiar, but after a while it’s all unknown. That’s when you rely on gender or race…..or even cool names.

I went around and asked a few people if they knew much about other races. Their answers were as foggy as my own knowledge in relation to the new Metropolitan Water Reclamation district commissioners that I am supposed to choose when I cast my vote this Nov.—unless I take the time go to the Chicago Board of Elections page, type my address, download a sample of my ballot, and Google every name in advance, I will honestly have no clue about the other seats, the candidates and what they’ll do in their upcoming six year term. Do we have the time to go through all of that?

It’s hard to keep up with all the information. But who is at fault? All of us for not doing our homework or the media, the candidates and the government for not making an effort to educate the public each time around. 

Where can we take that civics 101 class that will show us the way?

Should we at least know our ward, precinct or congressional numbers before we cast our ballots?

I asked people if they knew what congressional district they lived in and this is what I they said…


Their answers are not a surprise. But aside from a few governmental websites, do we have the opportunity to often see what district or precinct we belong to? What about those who don’t have access to the Internet or who still don’t know where to look? Or those who don’t care, but would care if they had more available information.

Also, is there enough information about the circuit court judges that we will be electing next week? Actually, when I was exploring all the names in the sample ballot I got, I picked a name and looked it up—-Cook County Circuit Judge Cynthia Brim.

To my surprise, according to the Chicago Tribune endorsements for the Cook County Judges, Brim has a $182,000 year salary, has been suspended several times and is not allowed in the court house without a sheriff’s escort.

“In March, Brim was removed from the bench indefinitely by the circuit court’s executive committee, after she allegedly shoved a sheriff’s deputy and threw a set of keys at a security checkpoint at the Daley Center,” reported the Chicago Tribune.

Aside from that the Tribune also said that, “in 2010, Brim was one of four Cook County judges who were reassigned and paired with a mentor after a six-month investigation by Fox Chicago News and the Better Government Association found they weren’t working a full day.”

How come I didn’t know that? Unless I take some time to search and read, a lot of us would never even know that she exists…. even when she is on the ballot.  But then again, the circuit judges serve a six-year term. In that case, we better do our homework.


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