We elect our Illinois judges, and vote periodically to retain them, all of which doesn’t seem to improve their quality over what we might get from “merit” selection. In theory it could, but who, except some local lawyers and victims, knows anything about the various judges? At election time some of the former do publish evaluations, which seem to affect 5% or 10% of the vote and might be reliable.
But now there’s a place where we can all share our experience and views on individual judges. Judgepedia is a rather sparse wiki right now, but it could be the right place to record your experiences, or even just what you read in “in the papers.” There seems to be a page for every judge in the state (and nationwide too?), with a map of the “circuits” and a link for each.