The consolidated election on Tuesday, April 4, 2023
For information about local candidates, visit the Caucus website at: https://wscaucus.wixsite.com/caucus
For information on the Western Springs School District 101 referendum, visit: https://www.wsd101.org/page/ballotvoting
For information about voter registration and ways to vote, visit the Cook County Clerk's website at: https://www.cookcountyclerkil.gov/elections
The Caucus System
Western Springs residents may not be familiar with the caucus or town meeting method of nominating candidates for the Library, Park, and Village Boards. While the Village Board cannot endorse any political party, the following is intended to explain the system as it has historically operated within the Village.
Newcomers to the Village may assume that its political tradition to fill seats on the various elected boards in the community has been a two-party system, like the state and federal governments or contested elections by multiple candidates similar to other communities. However, for nearly 75 years, the residents have participated in what is known as a town meeting or caucus system, where every resident is considered a member of the Village Party.
The electoral process starts in the fall when captains from each of the Village's six precincts begin looking for people who might be willing to serve one of the three elected bodies - Park Board, Library Board, and Village Board. The precinct captains identify the type of skills that are being sought by each of the three boards and try to match up potential candidates with those skills.
The next step occurs at local precinct meetings in early November, when candidates are formally nominated. The individuals nominated at the precinct meetings are then voted on at a Village-wide caucus meeting one week later. The resulting candidates' names are then placed on the official ballot for the April election.
Benefits of the System
It has been noted by many of our residents who have participated in the caucus process that the most important part of the process is that the job seeks the person. The caucus has traditionally been interested in people who represent the broad interests of the community at large, not individuals who may be focused on a single issue. Over the years, the caucus has attempted to nominate people who have demonstrated an interest in public service through volunteering the required number of hours to the job, even though there is no compensation provided for these positions.
The caucus system has not only produced an excellent track record of quality candidates, it has also helped to eliminate contentious elections and expensive electioneering. The caucus process also serves to attract many candidates who might not consider running in a two-party system or in contested elections.
Suggesting a Candidate
If residents have a potential candidate in mind for the Library Board, Park Board, or Village Board, they should contact the chairperson of the Village Caucus. The information will then be passed along to one of the caucus’ six precinct captains who will contact that individual to determine their level of interest in being considered.
Please visit the website for the caucus for caucus meeting dates, precinct captains' contact information and candidate background profiles