February 18, 2014
KXAN-TV (NBC, Austin)
Early voting for the March primaries kicked off Tuesday morning. It’s a big election year in Texas, including the governor’s race and state district seats, but there are races that don’t get as much attention.
“It’s when you have a real dispute with your neighbor, you show up in front of the court and the judge is going to make a ruling, it’s a little bit late then to say, ‘gee I should have paid attention when I was voting for judges,” said Craig Enoch, Former Texas Supreme Court Justice.
Texans tend to fall short when it comes to voting for those who sit on the bench. In the 2012 general election, about 58.6 percent registered Texas voters voted for a presidential candidate. That number dropped to 44 percent in the judicial race for the Court of Criminal Appeals.
The Texas Civil Justice League is campaigning across the state to educate Texans about the judicial elections and improve voter turnout. The group advocates for a fair and balanced judicial system in Texas. It’s concerned that people don’t realize how important judges are and how much of an impact they have on people’s day-to-day lives.
“They can deal with custody issues, they can deal with your property and foreclosures if you have a business they can take away your business or let you keep your business or the assets in your business,” said Lisa Kaufman, General Counsel for the Texas Civil Justice League. “In Texas a judge can even take away your life so that’s why it’s incredibly important to understand and do some homework.”
The Texas Civil Justice League has put together a website that compares judges and gives information on their records.