Picking A Judge

Monday, November 6th 2006, 4:28 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma voters will decide more than 30 judicial races Tuesday, and some of those races are getting pretty heated.

In Rogers County, a group calling themselves "concerned parents" have distributed letters attacking Judge Dynda Post. The anonymous letters were left on car windshields at a local Wal-Mart.

Even the DA has received complaints about the last minute attacks.

So how do you decide what's the truth? Or who to vote for when the candidates aren't even allowed to say where they stand on the issues? News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims has some answers.

District Judge, Associate District Judge, in Tulsa County alone there are so many judicial candidates they all start to run together. There are plenty of signs, but they don't say much more than a name.

Only a handful of judicial candidates are running television ads. Associate District Judge candidate Caroline Wall is reaching out to voters through their e-mail inboxes, but that will only get you information about a few select races.

Almost all of the candidates have a website featuring everything from how they grew up to who's endorsed them.

The Oklahoma Bar Association is a clearinghouse of information on all of the candidates. All you have to do is click on a county and it will list all of the offices on the ballot, and whether they're contested or not. One more click and you can find out everything from where the candidate went to school, their current occupation, and their judicial experience.

You can hear 11 candidates from Tulsa County speak for themselves. The University of Tulsa held a judicial forum last month. They offer a streaming video of the discussion on their website.

And if you're interested in who's backing the candidates financially, you can check out the Oklahoma Ethics Commission's Public Disclosure System. Click search reports, enter a candidate's name, pick a report and a date, search reports and a date, find the line that says contributions accepted from persons, click the link, and you can find out who donated and how much.

Judicial races are unique because they're not allowed to campaign on issues. They're supposed to be objective and judge each case on its merits.