BEND, OR -- Several judges are up for election or reelection in Tuesday's primary, and for many, it can be difficult to make an informed decision. Some even wonder why it is necessary to vote for judges.
According to 35-year veteran civil trial attorney Greg Hendrix, Oregon has a different system than most other states, "Every six years, every judge has to run for reelection and that gives the public a chance to see whether or not they want to keep the judge, it also gives lawyers, perhaps, a chance to run against the judge, if there are reasons to do that. Every judge in Oregon is elected."
Hendrix says admits it can be difficult to get specific information about judge candidates, since they tend to do the majority of their work behind closed doors, but they are important, "Judges have an outsized impact on the community, even though that they are mostly anonymous. Their work is every day, all day long; having competent judges resolve disputes in a way helpful to the community and helpful for the litigants, is important to everybody and important to our quality of life." But, he acknowledges it can be difficult for the average voter to get informed. Hendrix tells KBND News, "Even if they're not being opposed by anyone, I would urge everyone to read the voters' pamphlet about the judges who are running either for election or reelection, and that's probably the most helpful place to find information about who they are and what they hope to do for the community." He says public records on each judge is also available on the Oregon Bar Association website, or
talk to someone you know who is a lawyer.
Ballots are due by 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 15.