Complaint Filed Against Cook County Clerk

By Chair
January 31, 2022

For Immediate Release

The Libertarian Party of Chicago


Complaint Filed Against Cook County Clerk

Libertarians seek established party status in county commissioner races

Chicago, IL, January 31, 2022 – A complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois Eastern Division seeks to compel Cook County Clerk Karen Yarbrough to accept nomination papers from Libertarian candidates for the June 28, 2022, primary election as established party candidates under provisions found in Article 7 of the election code.

Section 7-2 of the election code confirms that a political party which receives more than 5% of the vote in the last general election is declared to be an established party. The Libertarian Party received more than 6% of the vote for Cook County States Attorney in the election of 2020. 

Libertarian Party of Illinois State Chair Steve Suess said, “I wish I could say I was surprised.  Libertarians, independents, and other parties not fitting within the boundaries of the political duopoly are continuously denied equal access to the ballot all around the country. Luckily, we have the law on our side this time.”

Clerk Yarbrough maintains the candidates for county board do not qualify for established party status after redistricting. However, since all commissioner districts fall within the borders of Cook County, established party status should extend to all candidates running for offices where those voting districts are entirely within county boundaries.

Cook County Libertarian Central Committee Chair Justin Tucker said, “This is a true example of rigging elections through the elimination of choice.  Poll after poll shows voters want more choices at the polls on Election Day and Clerk Karen Yarbrough is denying voters more choices.  This is another sad instance of Chicago-style politics.”

Cook County District 1 candidate James Humay said in a statement, “It has been over a decade since the voters of District 1 have had more than one candidate on the ballot. It appears that the County Clerk is only interested in maintaining and consolidating power for her party and political allies, rather than allowing for the free will of the district’s constituency. I strongly urge Clerk Yarbrough to reconsider her decision and grant established party status to Libertarian candidates running for county board.” 

District 5 candidate Jason Ross Decker announced, “We must be granted the ballot access we deserve, to give the people of Cook County a choice other than the same group of people controlling the County’s business and our lives for decades. To be denied would be disheartening and make voters lose even more faith in their County Government.” 

The complaint is being filed by the Libertarian Party of Illinois, state and local party executive officers, party candidates for county board, and concerned citizens. It asserts that the Cook County Clerk and Board of Election Commissioners are willfully violating the First and Fourteenth Amendment rights of the plaintiffs.

While Democrats in Washington D.C. argue for legislation to protect voting rights, in Cook County, the Democratic machine has no interest in fair ballot access and is actively working to deny voters from having a choice of candidates. The Libertarian Party of Chicago and Cook County Libertarian Party believe all voices have the right to be heard in the voting booth and that restrictive ballot access laws inhibit the democratic process.

Media Contact:

Justin Tucker
Communications Chair, Libertarian Party of Chicago