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Chief Justice of Ohio Supreme Court Has Ideas for Reforming Process of Electing Judges

The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court has a plan that she thinks will reform the process of electing justices. Justice Maureen O’Connor says she’d like to keep party affiliation of judges off the ballot in primary and general elections. And she wants Ohio to start placing judicial races at the top of the ticket, hoping that doing so will lead to more voter participation in those races. O’Connor also wonders whether it might be best to move Judicial races to odd numbered years so they get more attention from voters. She says she wants more input from the public on the best way to elect judges.

"Now is the time to come together as a state and arrive at a package of improvements that we can enact into law," says O'Connor.  "Some of these changes will require a change in the constitution. Some will be statutory. And some will have to be enacted through rules. But because that is a challenge doesn’t mean that it’s something we can’t do or shouldn’t do."

O’Connor made her comments at a meeting of the Ohio State Bar Association in Cleveland. She is hoping a concrete proposal for election reform will be available by the end of the year.