I hope you realized that besides voting for president, you had the chance to choose many others, including judges, through your Election Day ballot. For the first time since 1992, there were two open seats of the seven on the Ohio Supreme Court. Because I turned 70 this year the constitution says I must retire Dec. 31, at the end of my current term. Justice Paul E. Pfeifer is covered by the same rule and will leave the court on Jan. 1. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor did not have an opponent, so she will begin serving her second and final six-year term next year.
Judge Pat DeWine from the First Appellate District Court in Cincinnati will replace Justice Pfeifer in January. But my replacement is still uncertain. At this point, Judge Pat Fischer of Cincinnati is leading his opponent, Judge Jack O’Donnell of Cleveland, according to the Secretary of State’s Office. But because there are many ballots to be counted, we will not know the outcome until the end of the month.
Many other common pleas and appellate judges were elected or re-elected this year. The 2016 campaign season has generated much discussion and I imagine that students, in particular, have learned about our democratic process.
The right to vote when we turn 18 is both a privilege and a responsibility. Here’s hoping that, in deciding how government will operate, people now recognize the power of their votes.
Although it’s sometimes easy to forget to vote for the judges, that choice is very important. Please remember them when you cast your next ballot.
(Image courtesy of Thinkstock)