To Retain or Not to Retain: How to vote for judges on your 2016 ballot

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KJCT) -- If you’ve looked at your 2016 Colorado election ballot, you’ve probably noticed that you are being asked to vote on whether to retain more than a dozen judges.

If you are like most people, you probably skip over these selections thinking that you do not have enough information to decide whether a judge should keep their seat or not.

Fortunately, the Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation has simplified these choices by providing “Retain” and “Do Not Retain” recommendations for each of the judges up for review.

The Office provides evaluations based on courtroom observations, reviews of written decisions, interviews, case management reports, and evaluations from attorneys who have experience working with the judges.

You can access the recommendations using this easy-to-use website.

At the top of the page under 2016 Judge Evaluations, select the county that your received your ballot from. That will take you to a page that summarizes the “Retain” and “Do Not Retain” recommendations for each of the judges on your ballot. Click on each judge’s name and it will take you to a summary of the evaluation.

At the state level, one Colorado Supreme Court justice and 10 judges on the Colorado Court of Appeals are up for retention votes. There are also 58 district court judges, 36 county court judges, and three juvenile court judges up for retention election across the state.

Supreme Court justices serve for 10 years and appeals court judges for eight years before they come up for another vote for retention. District and juvenile court judges are retained for six-year terms and county court judges have four-year terms.

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