Feedback mixed on party labels for Ohio judges

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Online feedback over eliminating party labels in Ohio's judicial primaries was strongly divided, helping to explain why the state's top judge has sidelined the idea despite believing it's crucial to convincing the public that judges are impartial.

Sentiment shared with Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor ranged widely as she finalized a package of judicial reforms she is championing. Some commenters felt removing judges' party affiliations would be disingenuous. Others said keeping candidates from sharing party affiliation is unconstitutional.

The online comments were obtained by The Associated Press through a records request.

O'Connor says public feedback was only one factor in her decision to exclude the idea from her reform package; it was also clear neither Republicans nor Democrats wanted to remove the labels.

Ohio's general election for judges is nonpartisan.

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