For the first time, the Cook County Circuit Court will actively advertise for applicants for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, Chief Cook County Circuit Judge Timothy C. Evans announced today.
Also for the first time ever, the court will post every applicant’s submitted application form online at cookcountycourt.org.
“Our court’s process to recruit and screen potential candidates will be as transparent as possible,” Chief Judge Evans said. “With one spot currently open and another one expected to become vacant, now is the time for a more transparent way to select the commissioners who administer the elections in our city. And we’re seeking the media’s help to get the word out that we’re accepting applicants for these two prestigious positions in the public sector.”
The current Republican vacancy on the three-member board is due to the April 2015 death of Commissioner Richard A. Cowen. The Board of Election Commissioners has informed the Chief Judge’s Office that another vacancy will occur when Election Board Chairman Langdon D. Neal steps down after that Republican appointment is made.
Under state law, vacancies are filled by the circuit court where the election board is located. On the Chicago Board of Election, the Cook County Board has set commissioner salaries at $77,798 annually. Commissioners serve three-year terms.
The commissioners manage voter registrations; safeguard the rights of all voters to cast ballots independently in a safe and quiet atmosphere, free of interference or intimidation; and inform voters of all of their balloting options, such as Election Day voting, Early Voting and Vote By Mail.
In addition, the board serves as the quasi-judicial arm of the courts and issues decisions when a voter objects to the nominating petitions of a candidate who wants to be on the Election Day ballot. Such offices include Chicago Mayor, Chicago Alderman, Ward Committeeman, City Treasurer, City Clerk and certain Congressional, Illinois Senate and Illinois House of Representatives Districts that fall partly or entirely in the City of Chicago.
The board elects its own chairman and secretary. The Cook County Circuit Court does not have administrative authority over the board or its operations.
Under Chief Judge Evans’s plan, the Cook County Circuit Court will post an application for the position on the court’s website, cookcountycourt.org. All submitted application forms will also be posted on the website so the public can see who has applied. In addition, the court will place two-week classified ads to attract applicants on Monster.com and in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
The application for election commissioner is now available at cookcountycourt.org under the “election commissioner vacancy” tab.
All applications will be reviewed by the Human Resources Department of the Office of the Chief Judge to ensure that applicants meet the minimum qualifications.
After interviewing the applicants he selects as finalists, Chief Judge Evans will select one candidate to submit to the Circuit Judges for final approval. The applicant will need a majority vote of the Circuit Judges to join the board.
To serve on the Board of Election Commissioners, an individual must: have resided in the State of Illinois for a period of two years past; be a person of well-known political convictions and of approved integrity and capacity; be a legal voter and resident of the jurisdiction of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners; not hold any other political office; and be a member from one of the two leading political parties of the state. For the Republican vacancy, the balance of the term will end on November 30, 2015, and the appointee will continue a full three-year term beginning December 1, 2015, and ending November 30, 2018.
Applications must either e-mailed to email@example.com; faxed to (312) 603-9932; or mailed or hand-delivered to:
Hon. Timothy C. Evans, Chief Judge
Circuit Court of Cook County
50 West Washington Street, Room 2600
Richard J. Daley Center
Chicago, Illinois 60602
The deadline for submitting an application is 4:30 p.m. on October 8, 2015.
The submission must include the following: a cover letter to Chief Judge Evans expressing interest in and showing eligibility for the appointment; a resume detailing the applicant's work experience and history; three letters of reference; and a completed application form.
A printed copy can be obtained from the Office of the Chief Judge in the Daley Center, 50 W. Washington St., Room 2600. Only applications complete at the time of submission will be considered.