COLUMBUS – The Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 149, which adds judicial candidate’s party affiliation on a general election ballot.
H.B. 149, sponsored by State Representatives Brian Stewart (R-Ashville) and D.J. Swearingen (R-Huron), specifically applies to judicial candidates for Ohio Court of Appeals districts and the Ohio Supreme Court.
“House Bill 149 provides information about judicial candidates that Ohio voters consistently tell us they want,” said Stewart. “Voters too often skip voting for judges as a result of being denied this information, and so our bill will increase voter participation in these important elections. The bill allows the parties to compete, on an equal playing field, by identifying candidates on the ballot in the same way they are already being identified in their campaign literature. It does not favor one party over another.”
Currently, Ohio Supreme Court and Court of Appeals judges already run in partisan primaries as ‘Democrats’ and ‘Republicans.’ Only on the general election ballot do candidates run without party affiliation.
H.B. 149 passed the Ohio House by a vote of 57-38. The bill now heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.