How do you decide whom to vote for for judge? At the bottom of the ballot, you’ll see individuals running to be judges, or sitting judges running for retention, and you might not know anything about them.

“Particularly when you have so many other races that are higher profile, it is hard to expect that the public will be as informed as it should be before it makes those voting decisions,” says John Thies, a lawyer in Urbana and president of the Illinois State Bar Association.

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He is promoting the bar association’s website at, which recommends candidates for judge or for retention in each county based on surveys of the lawyers who practice in front of them, and gives the composite scores given by the lawyers who participated in the survey.

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