Your Vote: A Guide to the Nov. 6 Election

Tuesday's election night is sure to excite voters in the Palos area.

Tuesday likely won't pass without some local, hard-fought campaigns reaching a conclusion.

A doctor who once worked toward becoming a nun is challenging a Democrat with a resume that includes work in the statehouse. A Palos Park Republican nominated by the local party after the primary is up against an incumbent state representative. And one 35th House candidate clawed his way onto the ballot late in the season.

Everything you need to know to make a decision about how to cast your vote can be found on Patch. The links that follow will lead you to candidate profiles and positions, news coverage and candidate blogs.

  • Want to talk on election day? Join our live blog at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Election Info

  • Sample Ballot: To see your sample ballot, go to the Cook County Clerk's website and enter your address in the Sample Ballot Builder.
  • Polling locations: You can find your polling place through the Cook County Clerk's site.
  • Voting Hours: Pollis open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.


State's Attorney: Anita Alvarez (D) vs. Lori S. Yokoyama (R)

Anita Alvarez (D) has taken a heap of criticism during her first term as Cook County State’s attorney, for subpoenaing Northwestern University students’ grades involved with the Innocence Project, and her opposition to appointing a special prosecutor to reexamine the death of David Koschman, who died of head trauma after a confrontation with a Daley family member.

Lori S. Yokoyama (R) is a civil litigator, an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a law degree from DePaul University. Yokoyama is also a faculty member of DePaul University’s College of Law. She has accused the incumbent State’s Attorney for being the “biggest advocate” for Illinois public corruption and says she will introduce legislation to expand RICO statutes to include public corruption in addition to gang crimes.

Clerk of the Circuit Court: Dorothy A. Brown (D) vs. Diane S. Shapiro (R)

Diane Shapiro (R) is making her second run for the Clerk spot against current clerk Dorothy A. Brown (D). Brown drew criticism for her alleged mishandling for her “Jeans Day” fund into which court employees chipped in $2 or $3 for wearing jeans on specially-designated days and receiving cash gifts from employees for her birthday and Christmas. Brown claims to have increased revenue by $365 million and wants to expand her "21st century vision for a court system." Judges and attorneys have lament Brown’s “paper clogged” office and slipshod administrative practices, the Chicago Tribune said.

Chicago North Side Republican Shapiro, a retired county probation investigation officer with 25 years’ experience in the court system, wants to upgrade and modernize the Clerk’s antiquated, computerized court system. She is also said to have made Internet jokes about certain minority groups, the Chicago Tribune said during an endorsement session.

Board of Review Dist. 1: Dan Patlak (R) vs. Casey O'Brien (D)

Cook County suburban voters will be casting votes for incumbent Dan Patlak (R), who is to have brought transparency to the clout-heavy and obscure, 3-person board by spearheading the first Board of Review Annual Report and keeping closing contact with the 27 suburban assessor offices, Patlak's website said.

Casey Thomas Griffin (D) has served as the county Deputy Recorder of Deeds since 1999 and calls himself a "pioneer for bringing government agencies into the 21st century." Griffin is challenging the incumbent.

Recorder of Deeds: Sherri Griffith (R) vs. Karen Yarborough (D)

Yarborough is the six-year term state representative for Proviso Township; Griffith is a sales and marketing professional. Both are running to fill the seat left by the retiring Gene Moore.


Nearly 60 Cook County judges are up for retention on the Nov. 6 ballot, in addition there are some contested races to fill judicial vacancies. Here are some resources for voters with recommendations from various bar groups:

  • VoteForJudges.org offers non-partisan information on all the judicial candidates. The Chicago Appleseed Fund, the creator of the website, does not recommend or not recommend judges, but provides research-based evaluations from over a dozen bar associations.
  • The Chicago Bar Association provides a pocket guide of its judicial recommendations and non-recommendations, as well as a phone app to bring into the voting booth.
  • Illinois Bar Association provides summaries and full judicial evaluations. This information is also shared on VoteForJudges.

Voters are permitted to bring endorsements and sample ballots into the polling booth.


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While a couple of Democrats lack any sort of challenge on Tuesday, at least a few contests should help make for an interesting night

Republicans are pushing hard to make House Speaker Mike Madigan and the Democratic majorities in the General Assembly an issue. In the Chicago Southland, the GOP challengers are a mix of first-time office seekers and candidates who've battled the Democratic Machine in the past.

14th Senate: Emil Jones III (D) vs. (unopposed)

The incumbent Democrat is running unopposed for the 14th Senate district.

18th Senate: Bill Cunningham (D) vs. Barbara Bellar (R)

Currently a 35th District state representative, Bill Cunningham has kept a low profile in this race. He didn't return requests for interviews or fill out a candidate questionnaire to explain his positions. But Barbara Bellar, a doctor who once intended to pursue life as a Roman Catholic nun, has been out and about a lot. She gained notoriety with an anti-Obamacare speech that drew 3 million views on YouTube, and a local newspaper columnist questioned whether she'd been forthright about whether she could call herself a former nun if she'd never taken vows.

27th House: Monique Davis (D) vs. (unopposed)

The incumbent Democrat lacks a challenger on Tuesday.

35th House: Fran Hurley (D) vs. Ricardo Fernandez (R)

Fran Hurley, a 19th Ward staffer for Chicago Ald. Matt O'Shea and former alderwoman Ginger Rugai, has a long resume of community service but hasn't been responsive to Patch's questions. She also doesn't live in the district yet. Fernandez, of Orland Park, is seeking office for the first time.

36th House: Kelly Burke (D) vs. Bob Shelstrom (R)

Bob Shelstrom, an engineer from Palos Park, was brought into the race for the 36th House seat late in the game. Committeemen from Palos and Worth townships nominated him to challenge incumbent Democrat Kelly Burke.


State Constitutional Amendment: Also on the ballot is an amendment to the state constitution that would require a three-fifths majority for any government body to change its pension system. Both conservative and liberal lobbying groups have lined up against this amendment, saying it's bad policy and doesn't address the problems with the state's pension burdens.


Two congressional races in northern Illinois are must-watch contests. Democrat Tammy Duckworth's bid to unseat Rep. Joe Walsh, a Tea Party favorite, in the north suburbs has drawn a lot of national attention and out-of-district financial support. And in the west suburbs, Rep. Judy Biggert is trying to stay in the House and fend off Bill Foster, a former one-term congressman trying to return to Washington, D.C., but the latest polling shows them in a dead heat.

Closer to home, GOP challenger Don Peloquin faces more of an uphill battle against entrenched inner-city Democrat Bobby Rush.

1st District: Bobby Rush (D) vs. Don Peloquin (R)

Redistricting has added more Republican territory to 1st District, but Democrats drew the map and Bobby Rush still has a significant stronghold of inner-city voters. Blue Island Mayor Don Peloquin, who owns a New Lenox funeral home, sees an opportunity here and has been waging a grassroots campaign.

The latest headlines in this race include:

  • Area Mayors Make Calls Supporting Peloquin for Congress
  • People for Peloquin blogs on Patch

3rd District: Dan Lipinski (D) vs. Richard Grabowski (R)

Dan Lipinski took office in 2005 when he succeeded his father as the 3rd District's congressman. Known as a moderate Democrat, Lipinski trounced his Republican challenger in 2010. Rich Grabowski, a Hometown native and materials supervisor, is a favorite among area Tea Party groups and easily one a three person Republican primary race.

The latest headlines in this race include:

  • Grabowski Grabs GOP Nod for 3rd District in Decisive Win
  • Lipinski Wins Landslide Primary Over Baqai

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Sharpie November 05, 2012 at 08:17 PM
MUST read: "Support for Kill List and NDAA make Obama and Romney Unfit for Office" http://communities.washingtontimes.com/neighborhood/reawakening-liberty/2012/nov/2/support-kill-list-and-ndaa-make-obama-and-romney-u/ Make a special note to watch the Free and Equal Election Debate between third party Presidential candidates, Gov. Gary Johnson (Libertarian) and Dr. Jill Stein (Green) to be aired tonight on Monday evening, Nov. 5th from 9:00 - 10:30 pm Eastern Time. Perform a worthwhile civic duty, and be certain to listen in on this historic debate so that you can make an informed decision on voting day. Third party candidates who will be on the ballot in most states deserve to be heard. It is a violation of the 1st Amendament rights of third party candidates, and a violation of the free speech rights of every American, for their voices to be silenced. http://freeandequal.org/?v=1


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