Thirty years of judicial retention elections: An update

Bradley University, Peoria, Illinois, United States
The Social Science Journal (Impact Factor: 0.4). 12/2000; 37(1):1-17. DOI: 10.1016/S0362-3319(99)00056-7


This article updates prior reports on the empirical patterns and trends in judicial retention elections. The 3,912 elections encompass both major trial court and appellate court elections in ten states for the period from 1964 through 1994. Reported trends include declines in the affirmative vote, rolloff, and voter differentiation among individual judges. Detailed analysis of defeated judges indicates that regular retention voters quickly remove judges from the bench without any negative consequences for other judges on the ballot.

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    • "First, the average vote for the winning candidate in retention elections is significantly higher than the average vote for the winning candidate in both partisan and nonpartisan elections. Aspin et al. (2000) "
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