NewsCovering Colorado


Election Watch: Amendment W – Change format of judicial retention elections

Posted at 3:35 PM, Nov 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-05 17:35:37-05

COLORADO – Amendment W on this year’s ballot was a resolution from the General Assembly seeking voter approval on simplifying the listing of judges on the ballot. Fifty-five percent of voters must approve for the amendment to pass.

Under current law, ballots must be formatted according to the type of office up for election. Federal offices are required to be first on the ballot, followed by state, county, and local offices. The judicial retention candidates are listed after the county or local officers, but before the introduction of ballot measures.

For judicial retention elections, the Colorado Constitution requires that a separate question be placed on the ballot for each justice or judge up for retention as follows: “Shall Justice (Judge) … of the Supreme (or other) Court be retained in office?” YES/NO

Amendment W requires the county clerk and recorder to display the retention question once for each court type followed by a list of each individual justice or judge seeking retention on that court with the “yes” or “no” option next to each name.

“Shall the following Justices (Judges) of the Supreme (or other) Court be retained in office?” YES/NO
Figure 1 provides a mock-up of a judicial retention ballot both under current law and Amendment W.

Judge Sample