You Can (Nearly) be the Judge

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I may have just elected a judge. We had primaries today, and my polling place was nearly deserted. There were two election judges, neither of whom could vote because they needed a third and no one else had shown up. And I was the 35th person to vote.

Thirty-fifth.

There were several referenda, a contested gubernatorial primary, and a slew of judges. Given that many people may not know who to vote for in the judicial races, and therefore, left them blank, given the low turnout, a few individuals may be choosing who hears cases. That includes vacancies on the state appellate court.

If you think your vote doesn’t matter, consider my vote, one out of 35 so far in my ward. Think of the contested judicial races, and the fact that my choice might be the choice. I maybe be well-informed and vaguely intelligent, but I don’t think the entire weight of a democracy belongs on my shoulders, or the those of the 34 others who’d made it so far.

And if you elect judges like we do here, your state, county and local bar associations conduct rigorous evaluations of the candidates, and offer you a list you can take with you when you vote.

We don’t have to fight for the right to vote. Others did that long ago, the revolutionaries, the people of color, the suffragettes. Go out and use that right already.

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