Candidate petition checking just became easier

November 12, 2019
Press Release

Chicago Election Board Chairwoman Marisel A. Hernandez and Cook County Clerk Karen A. Yarbrough announced a new joint program that is already making life much simpler for 2020 campaigns.

A record-sharing system now allows campaigns to use computer terminals at either of the two agencies’ offices to check registration records from suburban Cook County or Chicago. Previously, the County Clerk provided records only for suburban voters and Chicago provided records only for city voters.

“Years ago, our agencies developed a Joint Petition Program as a way to handle objection cases more efficiently,” Hernandez said. “Now, our offices are sharing this convenience with the campaigns.”

“This is critical for an election cycle like 2020, and the campaigns have been thrilled with this new service,” Yarbrough said, “This is an election cycle when many circulators are gathering signatures from both city and suburban voters to run in districts that cover both areas: for Congressional districts, in state legislative districts, for countywide offices and for judgeships.”

Petition filing begins in late November, but before filing, many campaigns work to make sure they have enough valid signatures. Verification includes checking whether the voters are registered, whether the addresses are in the right district, and whether the signatures match the records on file.

The Chicago Election Board provides campaigns access to records on the Sixth Floor at 69 W. Washington St. in Chicago. The Cook County Clerk’s office provides campaigns access to records on the Fifth Floor at 69 W. Washington St. in Chicago and at its new Elections Operations Center at 1330 S. 54th Ave. in Cicero.