SALT LAKE CITY – With so much focus on presidential, congressional and mayoral races, many Utah voters don’t know much about the judges they’ll be voting for or against on Tuesday.
The Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission has put together an online review to help voters make an informed decision when at the polls voting for Utah judges retention. The voting is simple – choose ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on whether the judge should stay a judge – but being able to see the judges you’re voting on in action is harder.
“I think voters should be informed about anyone that they are going to vote on and people say, ‘How do I know? How do I know that a particular judge should be retained or not,’” said Anthony Schofield, an attorney in Utah.
The Judicial Performance and Evaluation Commission has created a web page that gives insight into Utah’s judges. Attorneys who have worked with the judges give reviews on their behavior and whether they think he or she should be retained. A program puts trained non-attorney volunteers in the courtroom and has them observe each judge’s behavior, then have those notes summarized on the website.
“People have positive experiences and people have negative experiences but what I think is more important is raising the caliber of the judiciary overtime,” said Jennifer Yim, vice chair of the Judicial Performance and Evaluation Commission.
“So if we can measure performance and meaningful ways to provide information. And the caliber of the judiciary, while already good, can be raised overtime, then Utah is very well served.”
The website can be found at judges.utah.gov.