Courts Side with Progressive Political Group over Cook County Establishment

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September 10, 2020


Gabriel Piemonte



CHICAGO, IL—Judge Michael Mullen has accepted a final settlement and dismissed a complaint leveled by the well-connected political group, Petition Review, LLC, in favor of Erehwon Atlas, Inc., a group whose goal is to increase ballot access  for grassroots candidates running for office in Illinois and beyond. The group’s claim, that Erehwon Atlas, Inc. was violating the Illinois Trade Secrets Act by developing an alternative to pricey voter ID systems already on the market, was a slap in the face for advocates of increased ballot access here in Chicago.


On March 3rd, 2020, Judge Mullen signed an order accepting the voluntary dismissal with prejudice of Count 1 of Petition Review LLC’s complaint, specifically that Erehwon Atlas LLC violated the Illinois Trade Secrets act when it launched Petition Atlas last fall. Erehwon Atlas has always maintained that it developed its software independently, and the March 3rd decision came after Judge Mullen expressed his own disagreement with Petition Review’s colorful interpretation of what constituted a trade secret. Judge Mullen had dismissed this same count without prejudice the previous fall.   


Jessica Olson, managing partner for Erehwon Atlas, said that the decision will directly lead to more democratic politics in Chicago.


“We created Erehwon Atlas to help progressive candidates, who frequently lack the funding, connections, and tools of the established political class, get on the ballot and run strong campaigns,” said Olson. “We believe democracy works best when there are many voices competing in an election, and as a Woman Owned Business, we believe that it’s important to elevate diverse voices.  A year from now, progressive, grassroots, candidates running for office in 2022 will be out in Illinois collecting their signatures, and we’ll be here to help them.”


As a direct result of Judge Mullen’s decision on March 3rd, on March 23rd, Petition Review and Erehwon Atlas entered into an agreement to settle the pending litigation and dismiss their respective claims against each other with prejudice and without the payment of any money or without any restrictions on their respective products.

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