Monday, November 17, 2014
Illinois Governor-Elect Chided For Voting Not To Retain Cook County Judges
On election day, Capitol Fax blogger Rich Miller snapped a photo of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, who defeated incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn (D), as he cast his ballot on election day. An observant blog reader blew up the digital image of Rauner holding his ballot before inserting it into the optical scanning machine and noticed he had voted "No" on the retention of all 73 judges on the ballot for retention in Cook County. Rauner's "secret" ballot is now becoming fodder for public criticism according to the Capitol Fax.
Judge James Riley, a Republican, wrote a letter to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin chastising Rauner for his No votes, noting the Chicago Bar Association had given the vast majority of the judges up for retention favorable ratings. The president of the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association of Chicago, John Litchfield, also penned a letter complaining about Rauner rejecting "even the stars of the bench."
One commenter pointed to an Illinois law that makes it a Class 4 felony for “any person who knowingly marks his ballot or casts his vote on a voting machine or voting device so that it can be observed by another person, and any person who knowingly observes another person lawfully marking a ballot or lawfully casting his vote on a voting machine or voting device." Miller noted he innocently snapped a photo of Rauner with no intention of examining how he marked his ballot.
It seems to me that Rauner is getting a bum rap here. What do you think? The Cook County judiciary has a long history of corruption within its ranks, in part, because of the highly-political manner which determines who becomes a judge, which has more to do with a person's political connections than their legal qualifications. It's hard to imagine that even the best-educated voters would have a clue about the judicial qualifications of a list of 73 judges on the ballot. I suspect there are more than a few voters who think Rauner should wear his "No" votes like a badge of honor.