How to handle questions about judges on your Colorado ballot
Voters have control over courts — in theory — but judicial retention questions include unfamiliar names
November 6, 2018
The ballot that's been sitting on your kitchen counter, glaring at you, is coming due soon. Let us help you get over one of the hurdles: the crush of judicial retention questions, which determine the fate of state and local judges who are likely unfamiliar.
Some voters simply skip these questions, but there's easy help available in advance of the Nov. 6 election. Here are answers to questions you might have about the judicial retention races.
What help is there?
Nonpartisan commissions that evaluate judges put out simple recommendations about each judge who is up for retention, providing even more information if you're willing to study up.
But it's rare for a judge to get booted from the bench. In 2016, voters rejected just one of the two who received "do not retain" recommendation.
"In the past you can see there's quite a lot of voter falloff as you go down the ballot to where the judges are," noted Kent Wagner, executive director of the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation, in a 2016 interview.