Cook County Clerk David Orr on Monday conducted a ballot position lottery for school board candidates in 74 contests who filed their nominating papers at 8 a.m. on the first day of filing or in last hour of the filing period.
Candidates in 71 school board contests filed at 8 a.m. on Dec. 15 and candidates in three contests filed in the last hour on Dec. 22, in an attempt to win first and last ballot spots.
Rather than conduct a separate lottery for each school district, candidates were put in alphabetical order and assigned a letter, in most cases ranging from A-C. However, Thornton Township High School District 205 had 10 candidates who filed at 8 a.m. on Dec. 15, so each candidate was assigned a letter between A-J.
The letters were written on a slip of paper and placed in a pill bottle by Orr and Director of Elections Noah Praetz. Then, the bottles were put in a fishbowl and Orr picked them out one-by-one.
For the 8 a.m. Dec. 15 filers, the letters were selected in this order: H, I, F, G, J, B, C, E, D, A. For example, a contest with three candidates assigned letters A-B-C would be in this ballot order: B-1; C-2; A-3.
For the 4-5 p.m. filers on Dec. 22, the letters were selected in this order: A, C, B.
For the April 7 election, 671 candidates filed with the Clerk’s office to run for school boards throughout suburban Cook County. Candidates not included in the ballot position lottery will appear on the ballot in the order they filed.
Ballot order for municipal, park, library and other districts will be determined by the jurisdiction in which they seek office. Jurisdictions have until Jan. 29 to certify a list of candidates to the Clerk’s office.