There are thirteen Circuit Judges in the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. Circuit Judges are elected to terms of six years. When a vacancy occurs, the Supreme Court of Illinois may choose to appoint a replacement to serve until the next general election. Retention of elected Circuit Judges is by a non-partisan ballot in a general election. A sixty percent majority vote is required for retention.
There are twenty-four Associate Judges who serve four-year terms assigned to the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit. When a vacancy occurs, the thirteen Circuit Judges appoint a new Associate Judge. The Circuit Judges interview applicants who qualify for the Associate Judge position. The Lake County Bar Association also conducts a Bar poll and makes recommendations to the Circuit Judges. The Circuit Judges then meet to select two candidates for the position, whose names are then certified to the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC). The AOIC prepares the ballots and sends them to the Circuit Judges, who vote by secret ballot. The ballots are returned to Springfield where they are tabulated for an official ballot count. The candidate with the greatest number of votes is appointed. Retention by reappointment requires a sixty percent majority of Circuit Judges voting.