North Carolina voters have a lot on their minds these days, with elections for President and Governor soaking up much of their attention. As the News & Observer noted over the weekend in a balanced and informative piece, this leaves precious little voter interest in “down-ticket” races, like those for seats on the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of North Carolina.
Glance at your sample ballot for the November election and you can get a sense for what the candidates are up against. My ballot, for example, requires me to make 25 separate decisions, not counting selections in uncontested races. Many of those decisions–including those for the judicial offices–are not included in the “straight party voting” option. This may help explain why so many voters fail to vote at all on the judicial races.