General election ballots are usually pretty easy to understand. Each party has a candidate in those races which are partisan and contested. The judicial races have two names, but no parties since party affiliation really does not give you much to go on in terms of a lawyer’s ability as a judge. Then there will be one Court of Appeals race . . .
Chief Judge John Martin retired effective August 1, 2014 after a long and distinguished career on the bench. Judge Linda McGee was elevated to the position of Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. Judge Martin’s seat must be filled. Since his retirement occurred after the primary, the seat will be a winner-take-all free-for-all. The filing deadline for the seat was August 8. Nineteen candidates have filed the requisite paperwork to run for the seat. That means that a candidate receiving as little as 6% of the vote could win the seat. Truly every vote will count. The candidates will undoubtedly have little money and little time to put together a statewide campaign. Potentially, a special interest group could influence the outcome of this race.
The best advice is to spend some time finding out about the candidates. The position matters.