Online application designed to make it easier to run for public office
A new online application unveiled today by Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office seeks to simplify the process and ease the burdens associated with running for office in suburban Cook County.
The Running for Office Starter Kit (RFO), created and designed by Clerk Orr’s office, allows suburban Cook County residents to view the elected offices they are eligible to run for and receive the necessary information and documentation to complete the process of running for office.
Free to use, users can simply enter basic information such as their name, birthdate and address to view available offices, filling dates and signature requirements.
Within minutes the RFO displays all available contests and relevant information. It could also generate a candidate packet complete with the Statement of Candidacy, Loyalty Oath and Petition for Nomination forms prepopulated with the user’s information – saving time, money and costly mistakes that can bump prospective candidates off the ballot.
“Running for office should be easy,” Orr said. “Unfortunately, it’s more daunting than it should be. Now, with our new Running for Office Starter Kit – the first of its kind in Illinois – so much of the information you need is at your fingertips.”
The Running for Office Starter Kit is currently available for offices within the following suburban Cook County districts:
- Township & Municipal Districts
- Elementary School Districts
- High School Districts
- Community College Districts
- Park Districts
- Library Districts
- Fire Protection Districts
Suburban Cook County’s last Consolidated Election, held in April of 2015, saw more than 63 percent of the 699 contests go uncontested. Nearly half of the 19 races for mayor or village president as well as 20 contests for library and park district boards did not have a challenger.
“One of the many issues that accompany these uncompetitive elections is low voter turnout,” Clerk Orr said. “Contested elections not only force public officials to work for their constituents’ votes by bringing different points of view into our democracy but they also attract voters to the polls – expanding the political process on both sides of the ballot box.”
Suburban Cook County residents interested in seeking public office, should visit the Clerk’s Running for Office Starter Kit page for a detailed FAQ, explainer video and more information.