Thursday, January 24, 2008

Voting in Cook County, Illinois

I feel comfortable saying that the information here is largely inaccessible to anyone I know who does not live in Illinois without spending 2 or 3 days figuring out how to get to it. For those of you who would like to know more about the nuts and bolts of how Illinois residents contribute their input to the presidential race, I have compiled this information. I hope I've been clear enough, and wish you well in digesting this process. The bureaucrats from both parties in Illinois, warmly bundled in their layers of bureaucracy cherish the fact that all of this is so confusing. Even when you call and talk to the frontman whose job it is to explain things to people, you can feel his discomfort in actually releasing information about the election process. After 20 years of election involvement in Cook County, I finally feel comfortable starting to write this kind of primer. Let me know if you'd like to see a little more written about the next layer of bureaucracy.

It looks like the focus of my work for the next 13 days will be in the State of Illinois. If anyone is interested in the Illinois GOP nominating procedure for delegates to the GOP National Convention (the body which will put forth the a US presidential nominee from the GOP) you can reference this website:
This shows that Illinois is not a winner take all state, it is a state whose delegates are largely committed according to the elections determined at the Congressional level.

If Ron Paul gets one of his delegates advanced out of the 1st Congressional district (the district I live in), he has essentially won that district. If he gets 57 delegates advanced out of the 57 Congressional district in Illinois, he has won Illinois because that means 57 of the 70 delegates from Illinois are bound to vote for him.

What the media will report on is the preference poll. This poll means very little in terms of who will actually become president. It has no effect whatsoever on the delegate selection process. People who come out well in this process look good in the media, which is important, but that is all they gain from that preference poll.

I'll also include here the link to all people involved in Cook County who might appear on ballots on February 5. Depending on what precinct you live in, this list will be narrowed down.

The day of the primary, every person may decide to "pull" either a democratic or republican ballot. I will, for the first time in a primary election, pull a republican ballot. The districts that I will be voting in will be as follows (using this you can determine exactly what my ballot will look like):

President - United States
Senator - Illinois
Congressional District - 1st
State Senator - 14th
Illinois General Assembly - 28th
Water Reclamation District - Cook County
States Attorney - Cook County
Circuit Court - Cook County
Recorder of Deeds - Cook County

The following text will also be voted on in Cook County on all ballots:

Countywide Referendum "Shall the federal government be required to adopt mandatory full funding of the Department of Veterans Affairs for the purpose of ensuring that all eligible honorably discharged U.S. veterans receive quality and accessible healthcare and related services?"

For a list of more referenda that will be voted on in some parts of Cook County, I welcome you to visit the site:

Some of those referenda are binding, some are non-binding.

- Allan
(writing from Blue Island, IL)

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