How Are Jurors Chosen?
In the State of Illinois, jurors are selected from a pool compiled by the Circuit Clerk. Our office receives a database of names once a year from the State. The names in the database come from three sources:
- The Illinois Secretary of State – records of those with a driver’s license, state identification card, or disabled persons identification card
- Local County Clerks and Election Commissions – records of those who have registered to vote
- The Illinois Department of Labor – records of those who have applied for unemployment compensation
The list of names provided by the State is fed into our jury system, which uses an algorithm to randomly select potential jurors. Jurors receive a postcard prompting them to complete a questionnaire that helps the Court decide whether a person is eligible to serve. Eligible persons are then randomly selected to receive a summons, which gives a specific date of service.
Once jurors arrive at the courthouse, they are given an orientation, and are randomly assigned to the courtrooms conducting trials that week. In the courtroom, the judge and attorneys pare down the larger group into a panel of 6 or 12 jurors, with two or more alternates. This process is called Voir Dire.