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The Vote’s in Your Court: Resources for voters on judicial candidates now available on the Florida Bar’s website

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2020-Guide-for-Florida-Voters-CoverWant to know more about the local judicial candidates appearing on your August primary ballot? Wondering about Florida’s merit retention elections for appellate judges?

The Florida Bar provides a wealth of information as part of its initiative to educate Florida’s voters about judicial elections that is easily accessible from The Florida Bar website.

The Vote’s in Your Court webpage includes a “Guide for Florida Voters,” an easy-to-read, nonpartisan brochure about the courts and the role of judges; statements submitted by trial court judicial candidates; and biographies of the judges facing merit retention elections in November. Results of the Bar’s merit retention poll of lawyers who have appeared before the judges up for merit retention will be posted in early September.

The Bar also has printed 50,000 copies of the “Guide for Florida Voters,” which is available at supervisor of elections offices throughout the state and at many public libraries. Copies are available to civic groups upon request; email [email protected]. A Spanish version is available online and printed copies will soon be distributed by members of Florida’s Hispanic voluntary bars.

Detailed information on more than 60 county and circuit court judicial candidates is also now available on The Florida Bar’s website. The opportunity to submit a judicial candidate voluntary self-disclosure statement was offered to all candidates for contested seats. The 10-page statements give voters basic biographical information, legal experience and community work, as well as a short essay on why the candidates feel they would be good judges.

The Bar’s “Guide for Florida Voters” also answers many questions voters might have about merit retention and what judges do. On the webpage there are also links to the Code of Judicial Conduct, biographies of the appeals court judges and one Supreme Court justice up for merit retention, and links to appellate court opinions. The merit retention poll will be conducted in August, with results published in early September.

Election dates this year are Aug. 18 and Nov. 3. All county and circuit judicial races appear on the primary ballot, with runoffs in November. The merit retention vote is on the November ballot.

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