Cook County Clerk David Orr announced that candidates interested in running for office in the 2005 local elections can start filing their nominating petitions beginning January 17.
Offices up for election on April 5 in suburban Cook County include village, township, school board, and park and library district seats.
“Civic-minded citizens who want to get more involved on a local level can make a real difference by serving as an elected official,” Orr said. “You decide many quality-of-life issues – including those relating to education, health and safety, taxes and public works projects. It provides a chance to shape your community’s future.”
Prospective candidates must file their nomination papers between January 17 and January 25. (Although the first day to file is officially January 17, most government offices will be closed in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. In such cases, the filing period will begin on January 18.)
Orr noted that candidates should call their local board or secretary or municipal or township clerk to find out which offices are up for election, how many signatures are required to qualify to run for a specific office and where to file nomination papers.
The deadline for filing objections to a candidacy or nominating petitions is February 1.
"It’s extremely important that prospective candidates learn about the qualifications and requirements for a particular office, gather enough valid signatures, and correctly submit the necessary paperwork so they don’t risk getting thrown off the ballot," Orr said.
"Individuals who are not familiar with this process often make mistakes that jeopardize their candidacies," added Orr, who recommended that candidates consult with legal counsel regarding election matters.
Candidates competing for the same office who file simultaneously on January 17 will be eligible for a lottery to determine their position on the April 5 ballot. A handful of suburbs will conduct primary elections on February 22.