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February 19, 2003

Bar Association Unveils Voters' Guide to Upcoming Judicial Election

With candidates already lining up to vie for Common Pleas and Municipal Court judgeships, the 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association today unveiled a Voters' Guide to the Judicial Elections . This new tool is designed to give voters pertinent information in advance of the May 20 primary. The Guide, which can be found on the Association's Web site at answers common questions about the judicial races and explains how the Bar Association's independent, non-partisan Judicial Commission goes about rating the candidates.
"These judicial elections can be confusing for people especially in a year when we are also voting for Mayor, Members of City Council and other important offices," said Bar Chancellor Audrey C. Talley. "We want to make it easier for people by helping them understand what qualities they should look for in a judge and how and why we rate the candidates," she explained. "We figure the more people know about the justice system, the characteristics of a good judge and the criteria we use to find a candidate 'Recommended' or 'Not Recommended,' the better that will be for the electoral process and the justice system," Talley added. "In the end, we hope to encourage more people to participate and vote in the judicial elections because these races are every bit as important as the top of the ticket."
Talley observed that people should make their judicial choices "on the merits and not on the basis of haphazard or arbitrary considerations. Justice is too important to leave to chance."
She said the Association would follow up the Voters Guide debut with media and community outreach and later, a paid advertising effort sponsored by the Campaign for Qualified Judges. The ads will include or direct voters to the Commission's list of "Recommended" and "Not Recommended" judicial candidates. "In this election, the Philadelphia Bar Association has only one interest: We want well-qualified judges comprising an honest, independent justice system. We believe responsible voters will look to us for the credible guidance they need to make an informed choice," Talley concluded.
To view the Voters' Guide, click HERE.
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