Senate District 2
Theresa Gavarone
Senate Passes Gavarone Bill to Boost Voter Participation and Transparency in Judicial Elections
April 21, 2021

COLUMBUS—Today, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Bill 80, sponsored by State Senators Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) and Jerry C. Cirino (R-Kirtland), which would increase transparency and voter participation in judicial elections by requiring party affiliation to be listed on a general election ballot.

“Voters deserve to get the full picture of candidates running for the Ohio Supreme Court and each of Ohio’s Eleven Courts of Appeals before voting,” Gavarone said. “Senate Bill 80 will give voters more information and result in significantly higher voter participation levels down ballot.”

Under current Ohio law, judicial candidates' party affiliation is not designated on the general ballot, which can lead to unnecessary confusion when voters are making their selection at the polls.

In the 2018 election, this resulted in nearly a million more Ohioans casting votes for the governor, and other statewide offices, than for Ohio Supreme Court justices in both Supreme Court races.

The legislation applies to judicial candidates for the Ohio Supreme Court and Appellate Courts.

"When voters go to the polls during a general election, faux non-partisan ballots result in confusion and a severe lack of participation in Ohio's judicial elections," said Cirino. “This bill will assist voters in their decision-making process by providing valuable information about their judicial candidates. Voters should have confidence that the judicial candidate they vote for aligns with their core values and beliefs.”

For more information on Senate Bill 80, click here.
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