At the March 20th, 2018 primary election (and during early voting) Cook County voters, regardless of party, will see a two-year term for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board of Commissioners with no ballot-listed names, only a spot for write-in votes.
The write-in-only primary will put five of the nine seats on the MWRD Board of Commissioners in play in November -- but only for candidates who earn enough write-in votes at their party's primary on March 20th.
The Illinois Green Party has filed Geoffrey Cubbage as an official write-in candidate. Voters who pull a Green Party primary ballot may write in "Geoffrey Cubbage" to cast their vote for a Green to fill that fifth seat.
Answers to the following Frequently Asked Questions are based on best available information from the County Clerk's office and the Illinois Board of Elections. Some information may change, so please be sure to check this page for updates before you go to vote.
What office is the write-in for?
The write-in-only vote will fill one of the five open seats on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board of Commissioners. The MWRD Board is the elected administration of Cook County's billion-dollar, 2000-employee, taxpayer-funded wastewater and flood management agency.
Candidates who get enough write-in votes in their party's primary election will be listed as their party's candidate for the fifth MWRD seat on the November ballot.
How can voters cast their write-in votes?
The write-in votes need to be cast during the primary election, which will be held on March 20th, 2018. Early voting begins on February 8th, 2018. For information on how and where to vote, see our How to Vote page.
Geoffrey Cubbage is certified as a Green Party write-in candidate, so voters will need to ask for the Green Party primary ballot. Writing in "Geoffrey Cubbage" on another party's ballot will not be counted.
Why do we have to cast a write-in vote? Why isn't Geoffrey's name on the ballot?
In December of 2017, MWRD Commissioner Timothy Bradford died in office. His seat will be up for election in the November 2018 general election.
Normally, each party would hold a primary with ballot-listed names for an open seat, but because Commissioner Bradford died at the very end of the filing period for ballot-listed candidates, no candidate from any party had time to file.
Instead, the Cook County Clerk's office decided that Bradford's two-year seat would be printed as a separate line on primary ballots with no candidates listed, and only certified write-in candidates would be able to win their party's nomination to that seat.
No party will have a candidate listed on the primary ballots for the unfinished two-year term of Commissioner Bradford. It is a write-in-only primary election.
How many write-in votes are needed?
The relevant Illinois election law was not designed for multi-seat elections like the MWRD Commissioner race, and the language is ambiguous. The ILGP has solicited legal opinions on the matter.
However, we are proceeding with the assumption that Geoffrey Cubbage will need 1,720 write-in votes in March to qualify for the general election ballot in November. (This is based on the number of petition signatures that a Green Party candidate would have needed to submit to be listed on the primary ballots during the normal ballot access process.)
Why are there two separate two-year seats?
A different MWRD Commissioner, Cynthia Santos, left the Board in 2016, leaving her seat vacant. Since this was well before the deadline for regular candidate filings, parties were able to follow the usual filing process to have candidates' names printed on the ballot for that two-year unexpired term.
The Green Party candidate for Commissioner Santos's unexpired term is Rachel Wales. Her name will be listed on Green Party ballots. She is running unopposed.
Should we vote for the other MWRD candidates on the ballot?
None of the ballot-listed Green Party candidates for the MWRD are in a contested primary. There are exactly as many candidates as there are seats. You do not need to vote for any of them, other than to write in "Geoffrey Cubbage" for the two-year term that has no candidate names listed.
Depending on how the election law is interpreted, it may in fact be required that Geoffrey Cubbage receive more votes than at least one of the other Green Party candidates for the MWRD. We recommend leaving all MWRD candidate lines blank except for the write-in.
Can I write in someone else?
In Illinois, write-in votes are only counted if the candidate has registered with the election authorities as a write-in candidate. If you write any name other than "Geoffrey Cubbage" on the write-in space for the two-year term, it will simply be thrown out.
What happens when Geoffrey Cubbage wins the write-in?
Assuming Geoffrey gets enough write-in votes to meet Illinois requirements, he will then be listed on the general election ballots in November 2018 as a Green Party candidate for the MWRD.
That will give the Green Party five candidates for five seats -- a chance to take majority control of the nine-member Board of Commissioners in a single election. It's an unprecedented opportunity, but we can't get there without going through the write-in process.
We share everyone's frustrations with this needlessly complicated balloting process. The Green Party does not support the decision of the Democrat-controlled Cook County Clerk's office to hold this election as a write-in-only primary, but we will not cede the seat. We are campaigning hard to be sure of at least 1,720 write-in votes at the primary.
How can I help?
The Cook County Clerk's office announced this election less than a month before the start of early voting. That means an incredibly fast-paced campaign to reach voters, educate them about the write-in, and turn out votes on March 20th!
We urge our supporters to help in as many of the following ways as possible:
Donate - We are seeking to raise at least $3000 to cover the costs of flyers and other canvassing and voter-outreach expenses. All donations go towards direct voter outreach; the ILGP does not use advertising firms or political consultants.
Volunteer - We are in desperate need of Cook County volunteers to help with phonebanking, drop flyers on doorsteps in their neighborhoods, and join us on weekend canvasses. Please sign up for any roles that interest you!
Vote - Pledge to vote at our online form, and turn out on March 20th or cast an early voting ballot with "Geoffrey Cubbage" as your write-in candidate for the unexpired two-year term of Commissioner Bradford!
With your help, we can have five Greens on the ballot for five MWRD seats this November. Write in to Win on March 20th, 2018!