As I wrote in an earlier blog post, there are a lot of obscure candidates on the ballot for judge positions as well as Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors. I've already offered a creative solution to "recycling" your vote for the "soil guys" by voting either for this blogger or Joe Dirt.
Now here's my creative suggestion about how to handle all those judges running for office whose names you are unlikely to know 80 or 90 percent of the time. I'm suggesting write-in "votes of support" for Minnesota Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea who, if she doesn't win, deserves to be in another judge position as quickly as possible...
Vote 'Em If You Know 'Em
Obviously if you know enough about a judge to cast an informed vote, that's great. You must be a lawyer or something. No? Just involved in lawsuits? Been there. Done that.
In judicial elections, some people think stability is important and so they always vote for anybody labeled "incumbent." I find myself in that category most of the time, unless I have a contrary opinion about the sitting judge. Other folks just like to "shake things up" and vote against any incumbent. Well, that's just STUPID but then again, admittedly I think the opposite way so my opinion is biased.
But what about when neither judge is an incumbent and you don't know either one of them?
Standing in the voting booth yesterday casting my "early absentee" ballot at Hennepin County Government Center, I agonized about how to handle this conundrum. I'm certainly not going to cast a ballot based on "that name sounds nice" or gender. Uninformed ballots are like uninformed bullets fired at something that sounds like an intruder; ignorant and dangerous.
I wanted to cast write-in votes but, of course, only licensed attorneys are eligible to hold judicial office. Should I vote for one of my attorney friends as a show of support? Paul Godfread did a pretty good job winning my Blogosphere Trial of The Century.
Jill Clark Hates Judge Gildea, So Judge Gildea Must Be Good
When I thought of a "show of support," it occurred to me there is a judge already on the ballot who could make practical use of my write-in vote. State Supreme Court Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea is trying to hold her seat on the state supreme court against a feisty challenger. Gildea is one of the best judges in Minnesota as evidenced by the fact the Governor appointed her to lead the State Supreme Court.
And loony attorney Jill Clark is always trying to lock horns with Gildea. So that's enough reason for me to support Gildea, right there. But what if Gildea loses? Here's all this judicial experience and what is she going to do if she loses? Wait to be appointed again? Wait to run again?
Here's my solution:
Write in Lorie Gildea for in every judicial election where you can't decide which judge to vote for.
Though my suggestion is unlikely to influence the outcome of any election, a number of write-in votes for Gildea would be a great show of support for a fine Chief Justice if she doesn't manage to hold her seat. Also, Judge Zimmerman secretly asked me to write this blog post and the only person who doesn't realize that's a joke is Jill Clark. Or is it?
If you don't like Gildea for some reason, then I would suggest picking a judge or licensed attorney you think would make a good judge and writing in their name.
And if you still don't like any of those options well, I heard a rumor (OK, I just made up that rumor) that Judge Dredd is running and would appreciate your write-in vote. And by "appreciate" I actually mean think what he'll do if you thwart him.