How to handle questions about retaining judges on your Colorado ballot
November 6, 2018
The ballot that's been sitting on your kitchen counter, glaring at you, is due today. Let us help you get over one of the hurdles: the crush of judicial retention questions, which determine the fate of state and local judges who are likely unfamiliar.
Some voters simply skip these questions, but there's easy help available in advance of the Nov. 6 election. Here are answers to questions you might have about the judicial retention races.
What help is there?
Nonpartisan commissions that evaluate judges put out simple recommendations about each judge who is up for retention, providing even more information if you're willing to study up.
But it's rare for a judge to get booted from the bench. In 2016, voters rejected just one of the two who received "do not retain" recommendation.
How do I sort through so many?
If you want to take the easy route, simply go to the website for the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation, select your county and look for any judges with a "Does Not Meet Performance Standards" evaluation. That's rare — only two received that designation this year: Judge Phillip L. Douglass of the 18th Judicial District, which covers Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties, and El Paso County Court Judge Christopher Edward Acker.
But if you're interested in knowing more, the website and the state's Blue Book, which gets mailed to every voter, provide full evaluations for each justice or judge.