The people speak: We'll continue to choose our judges, thank you very much

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This issue really chaps my willie

I've mentioned this "conspiracy theory" before, but I just want to touch on it again. I believe the cancellation of judicial primaries by the GOP had at least one overriding goal: To fill up the November ballot with dozens of names from which voters will have to choose, with the distinct possibility that barrage of names will be immediately followed by a Constitutional Amendment question giving them the option to never have to worry about that tedious business in future elections.

More than one of my fellow Democratic activists have poo-pooed that concern, with comments like, "You're not giving voters enough credit," or, "I like having a crowded/long ballot, it makes me feel like I'm actually accomplishing something." Or even the logically-deprived answer, "That will push voters to learn more about candidates before they vote." Really?

The truth is, most voters are not "activists." Most voters are not encouraged by complexity when they exercise this right, and many are actually discouraged by it. I've talked to dozens of registered voters in the last few weeks who did not vote in the Primary, and (by far) the most common explanation was they didn't know enough about the candidates and issues to take part.

What's my point? When they finally get through the 3-4 pages of District, Superior, Appeals, and Supreme Court choices, many of those average voters (and probably a few in-the-know activists) will be doubting themselves about their choices. And (possibly) well-primed for that Constitutional Amendment.

We need to be cognizant of that potential GOP-created problem, and not forget to talk about judicial races *and* the need for voters to be on the lookout for such manipulation. Hopefully the GOP won't be able to swing that "judicial appointment" gambit in this short session, making this particular conspiracy theory moot for the time being. But if we can expose that idea for what it is right now, the passing of that Legislation will be a hell of a lot harder for them.