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Follow Wyoming Public Radio as we cover the Equality State and U.S. elections online and on-air.

New Election Tool Helps Voters Evaluate Judges

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The Wyoming League of Women Voters is now providing survey results that will help voters decide about whether to retain judges when they go to the polls next Tuesday.

The problem in the past has been that judges who are up for retention aren’t allowed to campaign like other elected officials.

President Amy Williamson says such “electioneering” is illegal according to state statute. “While it keeps money out of hopefully as much as possible out of the judicial system, it also keeps information from the voters,” she says. “And how do you vote to retain a judge, if you don’t know anything about him?”

Williamson says the information is pulled from a Wyoming State Bar survey that asked attorneys around the state about their experience working with judges.

“Does he know the law? And does he render his decisions in a timely manner? Are his decisions well written? And things like that that do permit a layperson to make some kind of evaluation.  It certainly is better than, gee, I recognize the name—okay, I’ll vote yes.”

Williamson says voters can find these survey results for their district’s judges on the Wyoming League of Women Voters’ website.

Melodie Edwards is the host and producer of WPM's award-winning podcast The Modern West. Her Ghost Town(ing) series looks at rural despair and resilience through the lens of her hometown of Walden, Colorado. She has been a radio reporter at WPM since 2013, covering topics from wildlife to Native American issues to agriculture.
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