Judicial Elections Matter: Be informed. Get out and vote.

With Monday being the last day to register to vote in the state of Kentucky, I thought this might be a good time to emphasize how important it is to not only vote in November’s judicial elections, but to be an informed voter. Click here to learn how to register. So often when the ballot is full of judicial races, people just aren’t interested—they fail to realize what an impact these positions can have on their lives. Unfortunately, most citizens will come into contact with the court system at some point in their lives, be it for a speeding ticket, criminal offense, or a family court matter. It’s important that our community have trustworthy, hardworking, and knowledgeable individuals sitting on the bench. Through the casting of your ballot, you can help ensure this happens.

While there are numerous seats open and a lot of candidates for each position, there are essentially four areas of the court system affected by November’s vote. First, at the district court level, there are eleven contested seats. District court judges preside over cases involving disability, guardianship, probate, small claims, traffic cases, juvenile cases, drug court, and misdemeanor offenses. Second, the family court level consists of six races. Family courts handle child support, child custody, divorce, domestic violence, status offense cases, and dependency/abuse/neglect cases—just to name a few. Third, circuit court has two positions up for grabs. Circuit court judges oversee felony criminal cases and civil matters. Lastly, there is one contested seat at the Court of Appeals level. This is usually the first stop in the appeals process.

I’m not here endorse this or that candidate on our blog. Rather, you should take a look at this voter’s guide put together by the Louisville Bar Association. It outlines which candidates are running for which position, as well as each of their experiences and community involvement. In addition to the voter’s guide, I’d encourage you to seek out as much information about these candidates as possible: Google them or ask an attorney you know and trust about their experiences with the candidates.

Most importantly—get out, exercise your power as a citizen, and cast your vote!

Photo credit: Theresa Thompson

About Courtney Preston Kellner

Courtney Preston Kellner is a partner at Kellner Green, PLLC. Courtney focuses her practice in the area of family law.