Proposition would change how voters appoint judges in Coconino County

Judge Dan Slayton listens do a defendant in his Coconino County Superior Court division Tuesday afternoon. /Jake Bacon: Arizona Daily Sun

 

By Scott Buffon | Arizona Daily Sun

If Proposition 416 were to pass this November, Coconino County would transition to a system where voters would no longer elect their Coconino County Superior Court judges directly, but would be allowed to decide whether an already elected judge should keep their seat after their first term.

The official name of the process is called merit selection. Merit selection places the responsibility of electing judges for their first term on the Arizona governor, currently Doug Ducey, after a vetting and nomination process that is open to the public.

The vetting process is led by several different agencies including the Arizona State Bar, the County Board of Supervisors and a committee chaired by a member of the Arizona Supreme Court.

While there is a Yes on Proposition 416 effort, there is no official effort filed to counter it and neither major political party has a recommendation for how to vote on the proposition. Voting no on the ballot would leave the Coconino County Superior Court judicial election process as it is.

The Arizona Supreme Court currently uses the merit selection process while Coconino County does not.

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