Electing Judges In Arkansas: It Wasn't Always This Way

May 23, 2018

Credit CREDIT SALFALKO VIA FLICKR, CREATIVE COMMONS

In selecting a candidate for the state Supreme Court, Arkansans vote in non-partisan judicial elections. This means party affiliation is not indicated on the ballot, and candidates are prohibited by a code of conduct from talking about the issues.

But, that hasn’t always been the case. 

Non-partisan judicial elections began in Arkansas as a result of a constitutional amendment passed in 2000, known as Amendment 80.

KUAR’s Karen Tricot Steward spoke with political scientist Jay Barth of Hendrix College to explore the implications of a system meant to lessen the public perception that judgeships are political offices.