Judge Pamela McLean Meyerson
Circuit Court of Cook County
Democratic Primary: March 18, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions


I thought you were already a judge. Why are you running?

The Illinois Supreme Court appointed me to fill a vacancy created by a retirement. The vacancy runs through December 1, 2014, when the winner of the 2014 election will take the seat. I want to continue to serve the people of Cook County.

Are you running for retention?

No. A judge appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court must run to keep her seat in a race open to other candidates. If she wins, she will serve a 6-year term and then run for retention. (In retention elections, judges do not have opponents. Voters are asked whether a particular judge should be retained or not. At least 60% of voters must vote "Yes" in order for the judge to keep her seat.)

When is the election?

The primary election is Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Pam is running in the Democratic primary. The general election is November 5, 2014. In Cook County, the Democratic primary is generally more competitive than the general election. Often, the Democratic primary winner in a judicial election will run unopposed in the general election.

Who will be able to vote for Pam?

Anyone who is registered to vote in the 11th judicial subcircuit of Cook County. See the map below.

Am I in the 11th judicial subcircuit?

This map shows the boundaries of the 11th judicial subcircuit. Roughly half the voters in the subcircuit live in the City of Chicago, half in suburban Cook County.

11th Judicial Subcircuit
What’s the difference between subcircuit judges and judges elected countywide?

Once elected, there is no difference. Both types of judge serve all Cook County residents and can be assigned to any courtroom in the county.

Before 1992, all Cook County judicial elections were held countywide. For the 1992 election, Cook County was divided into 15 judicial subcircuits to give communities the chance to elect judges from their own areas. Now, every two years some judges are elected countywide and some are elected from subcircuits. Pam is running from the 11th subcircuit, where she lives.

Am I eligible to vote?

To vote, you must be a U.S. citizen; live in your precinct at least 30 days before the election; not claim the right to vote elsewhwere; and be at least 18 years old by November 4, 2014. (Under a new law, those who will turn 18 by November 4, 2014 may register now and vote in the March 18, 2014 primary election.)

When is the deadline to register to vote?

To vote in the March 18, 2014 primary, you must register by Tuesday, February 18. After that, there is a “grace period” from February 19 through March 15 during which you may register and vote immediately by touch-screen ballot. See www.cookcountyclerk.com or www.chicagoelections.com for details.

How do I register to vote?

You can register at various government offices, Secretary of State facilities, by mail, or at other locations by a deputy election registrar. For locations and details, see www.cookcountyclerk.com if you live in suburban Cook County and www.chicagoelections.com if you live in the City of Chicago.

Where do I vote?

If you live in suburban Cook County, go to http://www.cookcountyclerk.com/elections/voterprofile/Pages/default.aspx. Enter your address to find out where to vote and what races will be on your ballot. If you live in the City of Chicago, go to http://chicagoelections.com/voterinfo.php

Can I vote early?

Yes, you will be able to vote early for the March 2014 primary -- for any reason -- between March 3 and 15. Early voting takes place in person (not by mail) at designated sites. See www.cookcountyclerk.com (suburban Cook County) or http://chicagoelections.com (City of Chicago) for locations, times and other details for early voting.

Can I vote absentee?

Yes, you can vote absentee by mail. It is no longer necessary to give an excuse to get an absentee ballot. You may apply for an absentee ballot starting on February 6, 2014 for the March 18 election. For your ballot to count, you must return it postmarked on or before March 17, the day before the election. See www.cookcountyclerk.com (suburban Cook County) or http://chicagoelections.com (City of Chicago) for eligibility rules and other details and to download an application when they become available.

How can I help Pam get elected?

You can help get the word out to voters. Since Pam serves as judge for all of Cook County, anyone who wants to elect qualified Cook County judges should take an interest in the race--whether they live in the 11th subcircuit or not. You can spread the word to voters through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter and other networks. You can help the campaign reach voters by making a donation to help pay for mailings, lawn signs and buttons. You can attend a campaign event or volunteer for the campaign. Join our e-mail list to keep up to date on the campaign’s progress.