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25 October 2010

Stouffer: Judges & Other Ballot Issues Will Be on Your November Ballot

With a critical election on the way, it is important to remember that there are many more races than the statewide and federal mid-term seats that will appear on your ballot. Voters will also be asked to decide the future of most of the judges in the state of Missouri.

Missouri's Non-Partisan Court Plan, also known as The Missouri Plan, applies to judges who sit on the Supreme Court of Missouri and the Missouri Court of Appeals. Voters will be asked whether or not to retain these judges on November 2.

The 21st Senatorial District is in the Court of Appeals' Western District. In addition to Missouri Supreme Court Justice Zel Fischer, folks will be asked "yes" or "no" to retain Appeals Court judges:Clay County also has some of its own judges in the Seventh Circuit, as mandated by the Missouri Plan:In Clay County, voters will also decide the fate of two Associate Circuit Judges:There will be other judges on the ballot in other parts of Missouri, including the Court of Appeals' Southern District:There will only be one judge up for retention in the Eastern District:
  • Mary Hoff, who was nominated in 1996 by Gov. Carnahan.
Larger areas of the state are divided into circuits as well, including:Even though the Missouri Plan has seen its fair share of criticism over the years, it continues to be a model for other states and gives folks the opportunity to have their say in who stays and who goes. Occasionally, a judge will not be retained, at which point picking a replacement is up to the governor and a lengthy, thorough screening process. This is yet another reason why voting is so very important.

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