To the Editor:
On March 15, Ohioans will vote in the 2016 primary election to determine the judicial candidates who will appear on the general election ballot.
JudicialVotesCount.org, a nonpartisan website that features biographies of court candidates running for judge, can assist voters. Launched in September, the website includes updated 2016 candidate information for Supreme Court, court of appeals, and common pleas court races. There are 145 seats up for election and more than 200 candidates on the ballot. County court candidates will be added after their filing deadline in August.
In addition to candidate bios, the website includes descriptions about what judges do and the duties of different courts and videos about how Ohio’s court system works. Candidates were also asked to describe their qualifications and their reasons for running for judge.
Finding this type of information in one place is crucial given results from a 2014 survey that found most Ohio voters don’t vote for judicial candidates because they don’t know enough about them.
Judicial Votes Count is a collaboration among the Ohio State Bar Association, the League of Women Voters of Ohio, the Ohio Newspaper Association, the Ohio Association of Broadcasters, the Bliss Institute for Applied Politics at the University of Akron, which houses and maintains the website, and me.
I urge all voters to go to JudicialVotesCount.org to become better educated in order to cast an informed vote for judge.
— Maureen O’Connor
O’Connor is Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Ohio.