New Ohio Website Seeks to Educate Judicial Voters

With the leadership of Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, a coalition of groups in Ohio has launched a new website—Judicial Votes Count—to better educate voters in judicial elections. The site offers information about the structure of the Ohio court system and the role of judges in that system, as well as details about how to vote in Ohio.

The site also provides information about individual judicial candidates, including their education, professional background, community service, bar ratings and endorsements, and a photo. In addition, candidates are asked to answer two questions: “What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?” and “Why are you running for this particular court seat?”, and their responses are reported verbatim on the site.

The new site was prompted in part by a 2014 poll showing that 63% of Ohioans don’t vote in judicial elections because they don’t have enough information about judicial candidates, and 86% said a nonpartisan voter guide would be at least somewhat helpful to them. In Ohio, judges at all court levels are elected, in partisan primary elections and nonpartisan general elections.