It is next to impossible to feel confident about voting for one judge over another, or even voting for one who is unopposed, unless you are active in the legal community in a way that puts you in regular contact with judges and the people who work with them.
Even if you are an avid news-hound, even if you have served on a jury, even if you know someone who appeared before a judge, even if you know someone who says, “Judge x has my vote,” you may not feel that love, that trust, that confidence that your vote was well cast.
But vote we must – or at least we must give it the old college try:
Here are a few Oregon judicial election resources. Some will require more work on your part than others to ferret out the information you need, but you might enjoy the research or find some hidden treasure along the way:
2) Multnomah Bar Association (MBA) (you’ll need to wander around the site)
3) Oregon Judicial Department: Use links to Court of Appeals, Supreme Court, and to County Circuit Courts
As the election draws near, you’ll want to look at these (and I’ll update this blog post as I find other resources):
3) Judicial candidate websites
4) The Google (or other search engine of choice): find articles, editorials, etc. You can search generally, e.g. Oregon judges election November 2012, or specifically, using a name, e.g. judge Guido Mordechai Gonzalez (whatever)
5) Newspapers, newspaper editorials, newspaper endorsements, newspaper databases (the latter will be at your public library – you’ll need a subscription database to do a thorough news search that spans more than a couple of months)
6) Candidate forums: It’s sometimes hard to find out when and where these will be held, but ask around, talk to your neighborhood associations, check your local newspapers and news websites and political blogs
7) Judges will speak at local civics groups, e.g. city clubs, public affairs councils, etc. Use the websites for these groups and the Candidate forum suggestions to identify.
8) Miscellaneous: Candidates for office will often appear at farmers’ markets, neighborhood events, national holiday celebrations, etc. Keep an eye out on all of the above for announcements.