We know you read Civitas’ “Bad Bills of the Week,” so I thought it would be nice to look at a few good bills introduced by the House and Senate for a change.
Today’s good bill is: HB 65 / “SB39 – Restore Partisan Judicial Elections”. The bill’s primary sponsors are Representatives Frank Iler (R-Brunswick), Rayne Brown (R-Davidson), Dennis Riddell (R-Alamance), Bert Jones (R-Rockingham), Senators Jerry Tillman (R-Randolph) and Thom Goolsby (R-New Hanover).
While the bill makes some changes to residency requirements for judicial candidates, the focus is to put the party designation back on the ballot for judicial candidates.
You may remember that in 2002 the Democratic legislature passed legislation that removed party affiliation from judicial candidates on all ballots in North Carolina. This is a key piece of information that helps voters make their decisions when voting for judges. The 2002 legislation hurt voter participation, in the 2010 General Election, there were 2,700,383 total votes cast, only 2,012,869 voters voted in the first judicial race on the ballot – a 25 percent drop.