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Your Vote: A Guide to the Nov. 6 Election

The go-to guide for all the information Homewood-Flossmoor residents need to know for Election Day.

For the past several months, you've watched as we followed Jesse Jackson Jr.'s (D) elusive behavior and eventual diagnosis with Bipolar II Disorder—and the responses of opponents Marcus Lewis (I) and Brian Woodworth (R). You've also seen Lewis' critical response to a leaked audio recording of a pastor's phone conversation with Congressman Jackson—and the media. Let's not forget that, among the fray, JJJ has some issues with the FBI looming over his burdened shoulders.

Slightly lesser known has been the race of incumbent Toi Hutchinson (D) against opponent Robert "Tuck" Marshall (R) for the 40th District Senate. For several weeks now, Sen. Hutchinson has been blogging her political progress exclusively on Patch. Marshall is coming back from a loss in the primary for a seat on the Will County Board. Just recently, Marshall introduced his first blog post on Patch.

And of course, our commenters have made it quite clear that nobody's forgotten about the presidential race between President Barack Obama (D) and Mitt Romney (R).

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.

LOCAL RACES

Cook County 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.

Cook County 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.

Cook County Recorder of Deeds: Karen A. Yarbrough (D) vs. Sherri Griffith (R)

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.

Cook County Board of Review 3rd District Commissioner: Casey Thomas Griffin (D) vs. Dan Patlak (R)

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.

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GENERAL ASSEMBLY

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.

40th Senate: Toi Hutchinson (D) vs. Robert "Tuck" Marshall (R)

Republican Tuck Marshall, who lost a bid in the primary for a seat on the Will County Board, was slotted by the GOP to challenge incumbent Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields, a former Olympia Fields village clerk who was appointed to the seat in 2009.

REFERENDA

Flossmoor Water System Improvement Plan: The Village of Flossmoor is asking residents for $7.28 million in general obligation bonds to help repair the village's atrophying water system. According to village officials, Flossmoor is currently losing one out of every three gallons of water due to leaks and breaks. In addition to the costly leaking, the system also poses a threat to fire safety. The village says paying for the repairs through general obligation bonds is the least expensive means to finance the project. The bonds will be repaid with property taxes.

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.

CONGRESS

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 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 Congress, but the latest polling shows them in a dead heat.

Closer to home ... 

2nd District: Jesse Jackson Jr. (D) vs. Brian Woodworth (R) vs. Marcus Lewis (I)

In one of the more surreal contests, Jesse Jackson Jr. hasn't campaigned at all since winning his primary. Instead, he's spent time at the Mayo Clinic being treated for bipolar disorder and time in seclusion at his Washington, D.C., home. Polls suggest he'll win handily, but news about an FBI investigation into his use of campaign funds to decorate his home are prompting complaints among district voters.

The latest headlines in this race include:

  • Audio: South Suburban Pastor Tells of Phone Conversation with Jesse Jackson Jr. 
  • Jesse Jackson Jr. Reaches Out to Constituents by Phone and Seeks Patience
  • Jesse Jackson Jr. Files FEC Spending Disclosure
  • Woodworth: 'We Need to Hear from Jackson'
Bob Levy November 06, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Just left the poling place and saw a nice crowd - GREAT! But the number of Judges on the list makes me very concerned. How can we a judicial system - represented by judges- when the average voter has no clue about these people. I spent many hours in research mode and finally gave up. My voting represents not selecting anyone. NOT what I wanted to do but what choice? Am I the only frustrated voter?
Dinkum November 06, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Vote NO on Brimm, Chevere, Flanagan, Brooks, Donnelly, Eagan, L Murphy, L Daniels, Gorman, and Veal. So says the Chicago Bar and Chicago Council on Lawyers. I found this info in 5 minutes Bob.
BlackHawks Fan November 06, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Bookmark these for future reference. http://www.voteforjudges.org/ http://www.chicagobar.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Judicial_Evaluation_Committee http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/editorials/ct-edit-retain-20121021,0,6726173.story Turn out was very good this morning.
Ryan Fitzpatrick (Editor) November 06, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Thanks for sharing your experiences, everyone!
Arthur W. Wiggins Jr. November 06, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Deciding on judges is one of the most frustrating things a voter has to face. In addition to this many candidates in the judge portion of the ballot were running un-oppossed. I feel if we have to put this much effort in determining who these people are, we are being duped. If the candidates cannot supply info on how they stand, then why should I/you vote for him or her? Why vote to retain someone if they cannot put the slightest effort in how they have worked for us. These silent candidates are playing the odds So I played the odds as well.
Arthur W. Wiggins Jr. November 06, 2012 at 05:06 PM
Blackhawksfans that's a great site "Vote for judges"! Thanks!
Dinkum November 06, 2012 at 05:23 PM
I exercised my option to vote today. And I did this knowing with high certainty my votes will have little or no impact in terms of who will hold an elected office. I believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized. And because I believe this, America's two party dominated system and their candidates offer me very little. I am a Libertarian.

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