Prospective candidates interested in running for office in the April 1 local municipal and school board elections in suburban Cook County can file their nominating petitions beginning January 13, Cook County Clerk David Orr said.
Hundreds of local villages, park and library districts, school boards and fire protection districts throughout suburban Cook County will have offices up for election.
"Citizens wanting to get more involved in government and their communities can make a real difference by serving as an elected official on the local level," said Orr, adding that public service requires a significant amount of energy and time for little – if any – money. "Local elected officials make crucial decisions about education, taxes, public works projects and other quality of life issues that have a great impact in our communities and our daily lives."
Prospective candidates must file their nomination papers between January 13 and January 21. Orr noted that candidates should call their local municipal clerk or board secretary to find out which offices are up for election, how many signatures are required to qualify to run for a specific office and where to file nomination papers.
Objections to a candidacy or nominating petitions can be filed between January 21 and January 28, Orr added.
"It’s extremely important that prospective candidates learn about the qualifications and requirements for a particular office, gather enough valid signatures and correctly submit the necessary paperwork so they don’t risk getting thrown off the ballot," Orr said. "Many would-be candidates are not always familiar with the process and make mistakes that jeopardize their candidacies."
Candidates competing for the same office who file simultaneously on January 13 will be eligible for a lottery to determine their position on the April 1 ballot, Orr said.
A handful of suburbs with established political parties will conduct primary elections on February 25.