Ohio top judge drops idea of nonpartisan primaries

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio's top judge is dropping her proposal to strip party labels from the state's judicial primaries after a year's worth of feedback on the proposal was mixed.

In a white paper that accompanied her address Thursday to the Ohio State Bar Association, Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor named the proposal as one of four "left on the cutting-room floor" after her review.

O'Connor reported that nonpartisan primaries are among four of her eight 2013 proposals "being discarded reluctantly, but not permanently." She said moving forward with all eight would have been two cumbersome.

Three proposals emerged from her review that can significantly strengthen Ohio's judicial elections: moving judicial elections to odd-numbered years; enhancing voter education on candidates running for judge; and increasing the basic qualifications to serve as judge.

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