Northwest NEWS

September 7, 1998

Local News

Choosing judges in Washington State

   by Charles Wiggins, a former judge on the Washington Court of Appeals
   In the last two elections, one-third of voters did not vote in Washington State Supreme Court races. This year, 1/3 of the make-up of our Supreme Court will be determined by less than a majority of the electorate.
   Judges do not run with party labels. Their races receive little news coverage and their positions are so technical that it is difficult for the average voter to know how well an incumbent judge is carrying out his duties. As a result, many Washington voters take a pass when judicial races are on the ballot. But judicial decisions can have a significant affect on our lives, from building sports stadiums to riding Jet Skis.
   Qualities to look for in judicial candidates: