From the editorial pages of the Goldsboro News-Argus

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Partisan politics: Keep district and superior court elections non-partisan

Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly want to make elections for judges for superior court and district court partisan again, just as they recently made races for the appellate courts.

Such races were partisan for years until a few years ago, when a move was made to take the politics out of judicial races. In non-partisan judicial elections, primaries are held when there are at least three candidates. The top two vote-getters advance to the general election. Their partisan affiliations by voter registration aren't listed on the ballot.

Proponents of the non-partisan system say keeping them non-partisan would help distance the judicial branch of government from politics and keep political ideology out of decision-making on the bench.

Republican advocates say it would give voters a better idea of who they are voting for by giving them more information about candidates that are usually less well known.

But Democrats argue that making the races partisan again won't give voters any information about a candidate other than their party affiliation. It doesn't mean they will know any more about their qualifications for the job.

We tend to agree with that assessment. We don't believe that injecting politics into non-partisan races is a good idea. We already have enough partisanship in government as it is.

Published in Editorials on February 23, 2017 9:23 AM