We're tracking state court races & issues on election night

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Tune in: NCSC is tracking state court races and issues live election night

While the nation is riveted on who will occupy the White House for the next four years and which party will control the U.S. Senate, NCSC will provide live updates throughout election night on the state supreme court races and ballot issues that will impact state courts.

As he does most election nights, NCSC senior analyst William Raftery will focus his attention on the judiciary. As the evening progresses, Raftery will pull data from official reporting sources in the states, and upload them to one central repository, allowing interested parties to see real-time court-related results at ncsc.org/elections.

“State elections in general and state court elections in particular are often overshadowed by presidential and other races for federal office,” he said. “Yet courts are where people interact most with their state and local governments.”

This year, Raftery will track 67 state supreme court races in 29 states. Of those races, 22 are partisan, 16 are non-partisan and 29 are yes/no retention elections.

He also will have his eye on three constitutional amendments, two in Alabama and one in Kentucky.

  • Kentucky Amendment 2 increases the terms of office for various officials, including district judges. If it passes, the terms for district judges will go from four years to eight years, starting in 2022. The amendment also would change attorney licensing requirements for district judges from two years to eight years, also starting in 2022.
  • Alabama Amendment 2 revises multiple sections of the state constitution that deals with the Judicial Department, including shifting the power to impeach judges from the Legislature to the Judicial Inquiry Commission and the Court of Judiciary, and shifting the power to name the state’s administrative director of courts from the chief justice to the entire supreme court.
  • Alabama Amendment 3 focuses on the question of how long an appointed judge, other than a probate judge, should serve before having to face voters.

Election night coverage will start at 7 p.m. ET, with updates throughout the evening at ncsc.org/elections.

Check out our election law resources

The Election Law Program – a joint venture between NCSC and William & Mary’s School of Law – has launched a database of court orders that have been filed in state courts dealing with 2020 elections. The Election 2020: Court Orders Database is searchable by state and topic.

Miss one (or all) of the Election Law Program's webinar series called "What Happens (In Our Courts) When America Votes?" Don't worry! We have uploaded them for your convenience here. During the webinars, participants learned about elections administration, election safeguards for the judiciary, legal remedies for election litigation and effective election messaging.