Retired Idaho Supreme Court Justice Jim Jones says the state should move its judicial elections from the May primary to the November general election, which typically sees two to three times the turnout. “Why not select judges in elections where a majority of registered voters participate?” Jones asks in a new op-ed piece; you can read his full article here.
Currently, Idaho magistrate judges stand for election in the general, but district judges, Idaho Supreme Court justices and Idaho Court of Appeals judges all are voted on during the primary election, though they’re nonpartisan positions. If no candidate gets a majority, the two top vote-getters go to a runoff in November.
“The Legislature should eliminate voting for district and appellate court positions in the primary election and schedule those elections for November,” Jones writes. “The person receiving the most votes should get the position. The filing period should be moved to the first week in June, giving candidates five months to campaign. This would allow a majority of voters to select judges and give those voters more time and opportunity to make an informed choice.”