Your Vote Matters
You have the right to decide which of our state court judges should stay at their jobs and which shouldn’t, just as you do with official in all other branches of government.
The only difference is judges stand in a retention election where your vote answers the simple question “should the judge be retained; Yes/No?" If a majority votes “yes” the judge stays on their job. If the majority votes “no” a new judge is appointed by the governor from candidates selected by a nominating commission as a person qualified to serve the public as a judge.
By exercising your right with an informed vote, you ensure that our tradition of fair and impartial courts continues.
Judicial Performance Evaluations
In our work, we all deserve to be judged on our skills and performance. Judges are no different. So Colorado developed a process to fairly and accurately evaluate each judge’s work and report that back to you. Then you can make an informed decision when you vote.
Judicial evaluations are based on courtroom observations, a review of written decisions, an interview with the judge, case management reports, and judicial evaluations responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who have experience before the judge. A performance commission conducts the evaluation and makes a recommendation to voter about retention and provides voters information about the judge’s experience and performance on the bench. Voters can also review the results of the judicial surveys at www.OJPE.org
To maintain and improve the quality of courts in Colorado, we all have a duty to vote for the judges who appear on the ballot in each general election. Remember to make it to the bottom of the ballot and exercise your right to vote for the judges who serve your state and community.
The rights of all of us are at stake if our courts don’t work. Your vote for judges ensures our courts uphold the highest standards of fairness and integrity. Your vote reminds judges there is a system to monitor their performance and that they are accountable you, the public.
Public Education and Outreach
When the legislature created Commissions on Judicial Performance and the Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation in 1988, they did so in part to provide voters information on judge performance when voting for judges on the ballot. In 2016 the Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation and the Colorado Broadcasters Association, through their non-commercial supporting announcements program, created television and radio announcements to draw voters’ attention to judicial performance evaluations.
2017 Surveys Underway
Survey letters are arriving in the mail. Individuals who receive a letter are invited to provide feedback on a Colorado judge they have been before in the courtroom. Surveys can be completed online at www.ojpe.net (using the individual username and password found in the letter). If you do not have a computer or cannot get to the survey online, a paper survey will be mailed to your address in a few weeks. Paper surveys are sent with a postage paid return envelop.
Thank you for participating!