To the Editor:

The countdown has begun to Election Day on Tuesday, November 6. Like citizens across the U.S., Illinois residents will have a chance to vote for a host of government offices including U.S. President and Congressional candidates.

Equally important are the judicial elections. The ballot will include men and women seeking both election as a judge and also the opportunity to be retained as a judge. Regrettably, many voters do not take the time to learn about judicial candidates in order to make an informed choice. This is unfortunate. Judges make critical decisions on a daily basis which directly affect all our lives.

Help is at hand. The Illinois State Bar Association (ISBA) believes it has an obligation to share with the public information about the qualifications of judicial candidates. Who better than the lawyers, who practice alongside candidates for judicial office, to assess the professional qualities that are necessary for good judges? Our ratings can be found at We encourage all voters to download these ratings and use them as a reference in the voting booth.

Bar association evaluations and polls are a reliable, independent and relevant source of information. As the president of the largest organization of lawyers in this state, I encourage you to take advantage of them!

John E. Thies
Illinois State Bar Association

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