Washington state’s primary election is Aug. 7. It’s hard to know whom to vote for if you don’t know much about the candidates, but we’re all so busy these days. Some people, I know, find it easier to just vote party lines, which give you a general idea of the candidate’s beliefs. Still, you may not get what you think you’re getting with this strategy. One of the main duties of Better Business Bureau staff is to serve as a referral source to other resources. That’s why I wanted to share this one:
The Voting for Judges website ( http://www. votingforjudges.org) was brought to my attention by the Washington State Attorney General’s office and is a nonpartisan source of evaluation information for candidates running for judicial office. Now in its seventh year, the site includes information on candidates for all levels of state courts and has won a Silver Gavel award from the American Bar Association for its efforts to foster better public understanding of the law.
The Washington State Judicial Voter Pamphlet online ( http://www.courts .wa.gov/voters/index.cfm? fa=voters.countyfinder& CountyID=32) lists the published opinions of incumbents and is a good beginning resource. But Voting for Judges goes further, with nitty-gritty information like an explanation of various courts, the financial reports of incumbents, candidate ratings from organizations, newspaper endorsements and more.
As you research various judges, take a moment to check out articles, blogs, and voting guides published in this paper. And please, once you have educated yourself, vote. It always astonishes me that while people around the world are willing to sacrifice and sometimes even die for the right to elect their own leadership, many Americans don’t even bother.
Holly Doering, BBB editor