Your Vote: A Guide to the Nov. 6 Election

It's not just about Obama vs. Romney on Tuesday. Tinley Park voters will be voting on state and county officies, as well as an advisory referendum on term limits for elected village officials. Find out what you need to know before you vote.

The presidential election might get the bulk of the attention Tuesday, Nov. 6, but it doesn't end there when it comes to the decisions Tinley Park voters will be making at the polls.

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 night? .
  • Check Patch throughout Election Day and Night for voting results as they are available.

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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.

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 with impressive credentials, 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.

Board of Review: Dan Patlak (R) vs. Casey Thomas Griffin (D)

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.

Recorder of Deeds: Sherri Griffith (R) vs. Karen Yarborough (D)

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.


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.

14th Senate: Emil Jones III (D) is running uncontested.

19th Senate: Michael Hastings (D) vs. Edgar Montalvo (R)

Edgar Montalvo, a Frankfort Square Park District board member, is running for the first time and stayed on the ballot after a judge threw out a challenge to his candidacy. Michael Hastings, a Democrat, is a school board member, son of Orland Hills Mayor Kyle Hastings and secured an endorsement from Tinley Park's Republican mayor.

More Race News:

  • State Senate: The Tribune Tells You Who to Vote For

28th House: Bob Rita (D) is running uncontested.

37th House: Renée Kosel (R) is running uncontested.

38th House: Al Riley (D) is running uncontested.


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.


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 ... 

1st District: Bobby Rush (D) vs. Don Peloquin (R)

Redistricting has added more Republican territory to 1st District, but Democrats drew the map and Bobby Rush still has a significant stronghold of inner-city voters. Blue Island Mayor Don Peloquin, who owns a New Lenox funeral home, sees an opportunity here and has been waging a grassroots campaign.

More Race News:

  • Area Mayors Make Calls Supporting Peloquin for Congress
  • People for Peloquin blogs on Patch

3rd District: Dan Lipinski (D) vs. Richard Grabowski (R)

Dan Lipinski took office in 2005 when he succeeded his father as the 3rd District's congressman. Known as a moderate Democrat, Lipinski trounced his Republican challenger in 2010. Rich Grabowski, a Hometown native and materials supervisor, is a favorite among area Tea Party groups and easily one a three person Republican primary race. 

More Race News: 

  • Grabowski Grabs GOP Nod for 3rd District in Decisive Win
  • Lipinski Wins Landslide Primary Over Baqai


Lawyers who work with judges on a regular basis have rated them in bar association guides. Some can even be downloaded on your smart phone; you can take them into the voting booth with you.

The Cook County Bar Association guide. You can download this list to your computer.

Chicago Bar Association guides. You can download this to your smartphone, or get a pocket guide or regular-sized printout. 

The Vote for Judges.Org site includes a compilation of judicial evaluations by different bar associations and newspapers. It can be translated into Polish, Spanish and Russian. 

Illinois State Bar Association guide, broken down by counties. (Download the Cook County list in brief, and read the full explanation).


Term Limits for Elected Village Officials: The non-binding, advisory referendum for the village reads on the ballot as follows: “Shall the Village Board of the Village of Tinley Park pass an Ordinance imposing term limits on all elected officials?” The referendum does not stipulate how many terms an official could. Because it is only an advisory referendum, the Village Board doesn't have to follow it if it passes. The referendum was added to the ballot after . 

More Term Limit News:

  • Should Local Elected Officials Have Term Limits?
  • Petition Filed For Referendum On Term Limits For Tinley Officials

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.


  • Cook County: To see your sample ballot, check if you are registered and find your designated polling location, go to the Cook County Clerk's website and enter your address.
  • Will County: To see your sample ballot, check if you are registered and find your designated polling location, go to the Will County Clerk's website and enter your address.


Cook County Clerk David Orr's office will be fielding calls from voters now and until the polls close on Nov. 6. The Clerk's Office provides the following phone numbers:

  • Election information, polling place location and other voter services (automated directory), 312-603-0906
  • Voter verification, 312-603-0239
  • Election information (Spanish), 312-603-6767
  • Election information (Chinese), 312-603-6769
  • Election information (Polish), 312-603-6770
  • Disabled voters (hospitalized voters, curbside voting), 312-603-0929
  • TDD (hearing impaired), 312-603-0902


To report voter fraud and other irregularities, call the Cook County Clerk's office at 312-603-0236. In Will County, call the Election Fraud Hotline at (815) 727-8872.


Still unsure where to vote? Use this Google widget to find where you need to go to cast your ballot on Election Day.


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