Ohio’s Top Judge Wants To Change How Ohio Elects Judges

By
Jo Ingles - Statehouse News Bureau


Updated Mon, May 5, 2014 10:59 am
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Supreme Court of Ohio
Chief Justice of Ohio Maureen O'Connor

The Chief Justice of Ohio’s Supreme Court wants to change the way Ohioans elect judges. Justice Maureen O’Connor is proposing an amendment to Ohio’s constitution that would move judicial races to odd number year elections when candidates for president, congress, governor and other high profile races are not on the ballot.

“The partisan office holders shout their messages and judges are relegated to the very limited ability of whispering their messages," O'Connor said. "We can’t compete. The public doesn’t vote according to the importance of judicial elections. In years in which judges are on the ballot, the average drop off is at least 25 percent, sometimes a high of 40 percent of the voters who go to the polls do not even elect a judge because they don’t.”

O’Connor’s plan also calls for increasing the basic qualifications for people who want to be elected as a judge. She plans to talk to the Ohio legislature about her plan in the coming weeks and hopes to have the amendment to change the process on the Ohio ballot next year.

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