The Importance of Judges & Voting Down the Ballot
Mike Skindell advises everyone to apply for an absentee ballot and explains why.
Tonight, the Geauga County Democrats held an event at their Newbury headquarters that focused on a segment of the ballot too often ignored: judicial races.
The event featured Geauga County Common Pleas candidate Scott Matasar, 11th District Court of Appeals candidate Mary Jane Trapp, seeking reelection, and two candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court: Geauga County's own Bill O'Neill and Mike Skindell from the west side of Cuyahoga county.
Several themes emerged as the candidates spoke. One was the stupidity of Ohio's system of picking candidates in partisan primaries, then not identifying them by party on the general election ballot. At one point, they were not even allowed to identify their party affiliation on campaign literature, although that has changed.
Another was the drop-off from votes cast at the top of the ballot to those cast down ballot for judicial candidates — especially among Democrats. Often voters look at the mass of unfamiliar names and just give up. Skindell said that such drop-off decreases significantly when people vote absentee. They have time to sit at their desk or dining room table and pore over literature or check judicial ratings such as Judge4Yourself.com online. They have time to consider their vote and don't feel rushed to just vote and leave.
Absentee ballot applications were available for Geauga County voters. Supposedly, as per the agreement secretary of state Jon Husted made last year with Cuyahoga County executive Ed FitzGerald, the applications will be mailed to all registered Ohio voters. I say "supposedly" because Husted seems to be on a real rampage to skew voting to favor Republican areas.
If the 2014 gubernatorial race ends up being between Husted and FitzGerald — which is possible — won't that be quite a contrast?
Bill O'Neill (yellow tie) hangs out.