FAQs: Candidate filing and objections

October 22, 2009
Press Release

Who files petitions at the Cook County Clerk’s office?
Candidates seeking the following county offices will file nominating papers with the Clerk’s office: President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, County Clerk, Treasurer, Sheriff, Assessor, County Commissioner (Districts 1 – 17), Board of Review Member (District 1). Water Reclamation District Commissioner (3 seats), Regional Superintendent of Schools and Township Committeemen will also filed papers with the Clerk’s office.

What happens if several people file simultaneously for the same office?
Anyone standing in line at 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 26, 2009 to file nomination papers will be time-stamped for 9 a.m. The Clerk’s office will conduct a lottery at 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2009 for any candidates who file at the same time for the same office. The person whose name is drawn first in the lottery will have his or her name placed first on the ballot for that contest, followed by the names of the candidates drawn second, third, etc. Anyone who filed after 9 a.m. on Oct. 26 will be on the ballot in the order they turned in their nomination paperwork.

When is the deadline for filing nomination papers?
The deadline is 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2, 2009 at the Clerk’s office, 69 W. Washington St., Fifth Floor, Chicago.

Where are objections to petitions filed?
If the petition was filed with the Clerk’s office, the objection should also be filed with the Clerk’s office, 69 W. Washington, Fifth Floor, Chicago.

When is the last day to file an objection to a petition?
The last day to file an objection with the Clerk’s office is Monday, Nov. 9, 2009, for all county offices. The last day to file an objection against candidates for township committeemen is Friday, Nov. 13.

Who oversees objections?
The Cook County Officers Electoral Board hears objections to all petitions filed with the Clerk’s office. The electoral board consists of: Hon. David Orr, Cook County Clerk, chairman, Hon. Richard A. Devine, State's Attorney of Cook County, member, and Hon. Dorothy Brown, Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County, member.

In addition to ruling on objections to county candidates, the panel also hears objections to candidates for state senator, state representative and judicial candidates whose districts lie wholly within suburban Cook County or overlap the suburbs and Chicago.

What is the objection appeal process?
Once the board has issued a decision, the losing party can appeal the decision to the Cook County Circuit Court. The court holds expedited hearings for these cases. The losing party can then take the appeal to the Illinois Appellate Court.

How can campaigns check whether petition signers are registered to vote?
The most efficient way to check a person’s registration status is through the Clerk’s election website. The site has a search function which can assist campaigns in verifying registration status. Additionally, the clerk’s office can provide a list registered voters’ names and addresses. This can be done by precinct or district, and is available on CD. Under Illinois law, such lists are available only to campaigns.