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Argument: Judicial elections elevate debate and awareness of judiciary

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"In defense of elections". The Record. August 14, 2005: "we don’t mean [judicial elections are] “better” because of who prevailed-this newspaper supported Karmeier-- but rather because of how much was debated. The election raised important issues never before argued publicly in the 5th Judicial District. Thanks to record spending we saw record campaigning and candidate communications-activating a once judiciary-ambivalent electorate....2004’s state supreme court race was the most intense and competitive judicial election Southern Illinois has ever seen. [...] Today Justice Lloyd Karmeier is undoubtedly more recognized by his electorate than any other judge in Illinois. That’s a goal and example to which our state should aspire, not reject." The benefits of such exposure are very high in terms of judicial accountability. Judges that are well known and in the public-eye are subject to greater and wider criticism, scrutiny, and accountability.

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