Election judges honored for excellence

September 23, 2010
Press Release
The 2010 Election Judge Recognition honorees pose for a photo Wednesday.
Front Row: Josefa Martinez, Deborah Peso, Teresa Hernandez, Carol Higgins, Janis Sabin, Mary Longueil, Ronald Noteboom Second Row: Cathy Pizarro, Alice Stein, Phyllis Stuenkel, Claire Jensen, Mary Jo Imperato, CBS 2's Vince Gerasole, Irv Spigelman, Bernadette Bumanglag, Joseph Dunne Third Row: Cook County Clerk David Orr, Perry Nelson, Evelyn Armstrong, Emmanuel Fasoranti, George Macas Jr., Patrick Wargo
Sept. 23, 2010
Clerk David Orr honored oustanding suburban Cook County election judges Wednesday at the fourth annual Judge Recognition Ceremony.
"You are our front-line workers," Orr said. "It takes an army, 10,000 of you, to run an election. And your participation really does make a difference."
Watch a video of the event.
Sixty suburban election judges -- two from each township -- were selected. (See full list below.) The judges were nominated by a Clerk's office staff member, township committeemen, township supervisors or other election judges.
The winning judges range in age from 17 to 90, and represent all corners of suburban Cook County. Nearly half have worked for 10 years or more. Here's what a few of them had to say:
  • Perry Nelson, of Des Plaines, has worked every election for 35 years. "The only way to bring about change is at the grass-roots level," said Nelson, 55. "Democracy starts not only with your vote, but your involvement."
  • Deborah Peso, 58, of Evergreen Park, said being an election judge is her civic duty. "It's important to learn what's going on in government so you can be an informed citizen," she said.
  • Emmanuel Fasoranti, a 29-year-old computer science graduate student at Loyola University, said he enjoys troubleshooting the equipment. "You have a much greater appreciation for how elections work when you are working behind the scenes," he said.
  • For more than three decades, Mary Jean Longueil has worked as a judge on Election Day. "It's the greatest country in the world and elections are part of what make us great. I like being a part of that," said the retired teacher from Western Springs.
  • After Evelyn Armstrong, of Park Forest, immigrated to America and started a family, she felt it was her duty to participate. "I actually think democracy is a privilege and we need to remember that."
  • Gricelda Castillo, 29, of Burbank, said her love of politics attracted her to the job. The Burbank woman said she enjoys helping voters who, like her parents, are Spanish speakers. 
Event emcee and CBS-2 reporter Vince Gerasole applauded the election judges for their dedication and excellence. "By getting up at the crack of dawn each Election Day, you are serving your neighbors and making democracy work," Gerasole said.
The backbone of our election operation, election judges work a 16-hour shift on Election Day starting at 5 a.m. Judges are responsible for setting up the polling place and election equipment, assisting voters as needed, and securing votes at the end of the night. All judges, even veteran participants, attend regular trainings to learn new procedures and techniques.
Registered voters who want to work as an election judge for the Nov. 2, 2010 election can apply online!

Honorees by Township 
Barrington: Bonnie Canby and Sharon Anuskewicz
Berwyn: Karen Nason and Jean Sears
Bloom: Karen Kappel and Evelyn Armstrong
Bremen: Joyce Calvin and Saresta Collins
Calumet: Frances Flores and Teresa Hernandez
Cicero: Dolores Tinoco and Josefa Martinez
Elk Grove: Bertha Hinton and Leonard Mosher Jr.
Evanston: Irv Spigelman and Emmanuel Fasoranti**
Hanover: Julie Hernandez and Terese Schwartz
Lemont: Lynn Kopcansky and Janis Sabin
Leyden: Claire Jensen and Michael Quaid
Lyons: Donald Bergman and Mary Longueil
Maine: Roselle Ginsburg and Perry Nelson
New Trier: R. Debra Altschul and John Russell
Niles: Joseph Dunne and Alexis Matesi*
Northfield: Judy Wehling and Robert Witt
Norwood Park: Antonio Dinola and Ewelina Lewandowski
Oak Park: Walter Perkins III and Richard Shaulis
Orland: Connie King and Ronald Noteboom
Palatine: Cathy Pizarro and Bonnie Haferkamp
Palos: Janice Lapke and Carol Higgins
Proviso: Diana Kappesser and Alice Stein
Rich: Clyde Wilson and Phyllis Stuenkel
River Forest: Bernadette Bumanglag** and Carol Fisher
Riverside: Leslie Daley and Scott Schulze
Schaumburg: Antoinette Bugay and Pamela Summers
Stickney: Gricelda Castillo and George Macas Jr.
Thornton: Andrea Olivier McNulty and Mary Bunde
Wheeling: Patrick Wargo and Adam Gibson
Worth: Anita Kadow and Deborah Peso
*Denotes high school student
**Denotes college student
Township coordinators
Oak Park - Democrat, Luke Casson
Hanover - Republican, Mary Jo Imperato
Polling place supervisors
In New Trier Township, at the Am Shalom Synagogue, Edward M. Alpert
In Rich Township, at Homewood Church, Lori Giffney
In Lyons Township, at the Lyons Township High School Corral, Tony Ponziano