The Texas Civil Justice League (TCJL) has launched a statewide voter education effort to increase awareness about the importance of electing—and re-electing!—qualified judges. As Texans, we get to elect our judges and that is a big responsibility. TCJL is urging people to do their homework, exercise their democratic right and responsibility to vote, and to vote for good people who make great judges.Several short videos featuring prominent Texans are being created to educate citizens about the judicial system and the profound impact judges can have on their daily lives. Click on the picture below to view one of the videos, which features former Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O’Neill.
Voter Campaign Announcement
TCJL announced the statewide campaign by releasing the following press release earlier today.
Texas Civil Justice League Announces Statewide Campaign to Improve Voter Turnout for Judicial Elections
Voter Participation Drops Significantly for Judicial Races Compared to Other Higher-Profile Races
The Texas Civil Justice League (TCJL) has announced a statewide advocacy campaign to increase voter participation in judicial races. The organization, which advocates for a fair and balanced judicial system in Texas, is launching a voter education effort aimed at increasing awareness throughout the state about the importance of electing qualified judges.“Many Texans don’t understand how important it is to educate themselves on the qualifications of those who run in judicial races so that they can vote for the most qualified candidates,” John Fainter, chair of the TCJL board of directors, said. “In reality, a judge can have a major, direct influence on a citizen—perhaps more than any other elected official—including making decisions that impact a person’s home, family, job and their very freedom.”
The campaign will initially focus on the upcoming March primaries and will include efforts to educate Texans about the importance of judicial races in addition to providing information about the various candidates who are running in statewide judicial races.
“I applaud the Texas Civil Justice League for their efforts to raise the profile of statewide judicial races,” former Texas Supreme Court Justice Harriet O’Neill said. “Texans are fortunate to be able to elect the best qualified candidates in judicial races, but with that opportunity comes the responsibility of educating themselves about the candidates. This campaign will be a major step toward achieving that goal.”
Voter participation drops significantly for judicial races compared to other higher-profile races. For example, in the 2012 general election, 58.6% of registered Texas voters voted for a presidential candidate, but only 44% voted for a candidate in the judicial race for the Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 8. In other words, a significant number of voters did not vote for judicial candidates even though they were already at the polls. Percentages for other statewide judicial races were similarly low.
For more information about judicial races in Texas, visit www.texasjudges.org, a TCJL website that provides information about the state’s judicial system and candidates running in judicial races.
How You Can Help
You can make a difference by simply forwarding this newsletter to your co-workers, colleagues, and other business and personal contacts. Encourage them to visit www.texasjudges.org for more information about the state’s judicial system and candidates running in the judicial races.
Most importantly, learn about the candidates and cast your vote for those who are most qualified to become—or remain—Texas judges.
Cast Your Vote
Early Voting Feb. 18-28
Primary Election March 4
General Election Nov. 4
About the Texas Civil Justice League
Founded in 1986, the Texas Civil Justice League (TCJL) advocates for a fair and balanced judicial system in Texas. The Austin-based group is the oldest and largest state legal reform organization in the nation, with membership comprised of corporate businesses, law firms, professional and trade associations, health care providers and individual citizens. www.tcjl.com
Texas Civil Justice League
400 West 15th Street, Suite 1400
Austin, Texas 78701