Advocacy Alert from Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry
Knowledge is Power:
Judicial Candidates and the 2020 Election
Policies related to criminal justice are near and dear to Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s history and present programs. From the groundbreaking Community Reentry program, to Chopping for Change, LMM cares deeply about the individuals who have been involved in or impacted by the criminal justice system.
LMM staff partners and program participants know first-hand the significant impact a judge can have on an individual's life. A 2014 survey conducted by the Ohio Fair Courts Alliance found that 63% of Ohio voters didn’t vote for judges because they didn’t know enough about the candidates. To help promote equity and fairness in the criminal justice system, is important that voters enter the voting booth with some knowledge of the candidate(s) on the ballot.
To be prepared, take some time to do your homework in advance of voting. Below are a few non-partisan and independent places to start this educational process.
The League of Women Voters has a helpful primer on how to select judicial candidates. LWV also hosts judicial candidates debates.
Judge4Yourself provides independent, non-partisan reviews of candidates on discrete criteria.
Cleveland.com endorses select judicial candidates. These endorsements often explain why one individual was chosen over the other, and the pros and cons of each candidate.
On October 9th, all candidates for Ohio Supreme Court participated in a candidate forum. You can watch the recorded forum starting tomorrow, October 13thhere.
Finally, as a general practice, LMM recommends that you print a sample ballot prior to filling out your absentee ballot or going to vote. That way, you can keep track of your researched and pre-selected judicial choices, and vote quickly. To find your sample ballot from Cuyahoga County look here; in Lorain County you can find it here.