Utah judicial elections
- Judicial elections only take place in even-numbered years in the state.
|Supreme Court||Court of Appeals||District Court||Justice Courts|
|Retention election - 10-year terms||Retention election - 6-year terms||Retention election - 6-year terms||Retention election - 6 year terms|
In retention elections, judges do not compete against another candidate, but voters are given a "yes" or "no" choice whether to keep the justice in office for another term. If the candidate receives more yes votes than no votes, he or she is successfully retained. If not, the candidate is not retained, and there will be a vacancy in that court effective the first Monday in January following the general election.
Candidates must file their declarations of candidacy between the second Friday and the third Thursday in March of the election year.
Results can be found on the Utah Elections website.
Judicial performance evaluation
In 2012, Utah had its first statewide judicial performance evaluation for judges standing for retention. These were conducted by the Utah Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission.
From the state's inception in 1896 until 1951, judges participated in partisan elections. In 1951, legislation changed the process for the judiciary to non-partisan elections. Legislature created another change in 1967, so that if a candidate was unopposed the voters would answer whether the candidate should be retained or not, although opposed candidates still ran in non-partisan elections. It was not until 1985 that Utah's judicial elections became unopposed retention elections.
- Utah State Legislature, "Article VIII, Section 9.(Judicial retention elections)," accessed April 25, 2014
- Elections.utah.gov, accessed April 25, 2014
- American Judicature Society, "Methods of Judicial Selection: Utah," accessed April 25, 2014