Voters in Minneapolis rejected replacing the police department with a Department of Public Safety that would take a “comprehensive public health approach” to public safety, while Cleveland voters approved a ballot initiative to establish a new civilian board that will have final authority over the police department’s policies and disciplinary action.
Across the nation, voters took to the polls in state and local elections on Nov. 2 to decide a variety of issues, including a high-profile state Supreme Court race and proposals to change police departments, voting and redistricting processes, judicial experience requirements.
Changes to the state judiciary were on the ballot in Texas, where voters approved proposed state constitutional amendments that would increase how much legal experience judicial candidates must have and permit the State Commission on Judicial Conduct to investigate and take disciplinary action against judicial candidates who are not currently judges. Previously, the commission could only investigate sitting judges.
In Pennsylvania, Republican Kevin Brobson edged out Democrat Maria McLaughlin in a closely watched election for a seat on Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court. Within the next year, the court is likely to consider high-profile cases surrounding elections, redistricting and abortion.
In New York, voters appeared to turn down ballot proposals that would have revamped the state’s legislative and congressional redistricting process and made it easier for people to register to vote and vote by absentee ballot. Results will be finalized after all absentee ballots are counted starting this week.
Among the police restructuring measures considered around the country, voters in Austin, Texas, rejected increased funding for the local police department, while Albany, New York, voters backed a measure to provide more civilian oversight for their police departments.
- ABA Journal: Judicial candidates face sanctions as races turn aggressive
- ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence Report of the Commission on Public Financing of Judicial Campaigns
- Minneapolis rejects measure to replace police department
- Cleveland voters pass Issue 24 to increase civilian oversight of police