Don't forget the judges: Resources to help Cook County voters puzzled by judicial candidate choices

Below candidates for high-profile offices like governor and state legislator, Illinois voters will find a number of office-seekers that are rarely in the limelight: Candidates for judge.

These relatively obscure contests can surprise unprepared voters once they step into the voting booth, forcing them to make uninformed decisions or skip over the question altogether.

Luckily, Cook County voters have a number of resources to tap which can assist them in voting on judicial candidates. We've organized these in level of detail, from the most basic to the most detailed.

-- This year, the Chicago Appleseed Fund for Justice and the Chicago Council of Lawyers organized a model Performance Commission to evaluate and make retention recommendations on the judges seeking new terms in the county. (We wrote about the project here.) To access the Performance Commission's recommendations, visit its website to review which candidates the body thinks should hold another term, and which don't make the cut.

-- The Chicago Council of Lawyers has made recommendations on all judicial candidates -- both those running for vacancies and standing for retention. Its recommendations are accessible here.

-- The Cook County Bar Association Alliance has charted the recommendations of all local bar associations, so that recommendations from each can be easily compared. Check out its workproduct here.