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Voters reject Proposition 115 on judicial selection

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Voters have rejected a ballot measure seeking sweeping changes in the system used to select and retain judges in Pima and Maricopa counties as well as appellate and Supreme Court judges.

Cronkite News bases its projection on unofficial returns showing Proposition 115 trailing by a wide margin.

The current merit selection system, applying to county Superior Courts with at least 250,000 residents as well as the state Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, uses nonpartisan commissions made up of five lawyers nominated by the State Bar of Arizona and 10 lay people. Those panels forward recommendations to the governor.

Proposition 115 would have made these and other changes to judicial merit selection:

– Increase the number of nominees forwarded to the governor.
- Remove a requirement that both political parties be represented among nominees.
– Reduce the role of the State Bar in appointing members of commissions while increasing the governor’s role.

Counties other than Maricopa and Pima will continue electing Superior Court judges.