The Akron Area League of Women Voters will host a forum for Summit County's judicial candidates for common pleas and probate court at 7 p.m. on Oct. 23.
The forum will take place in rounds, said coordinator and league member Gerry Hall. First, the candidates for Summit County Common Pleas Court will take the stage and be seated next to their opponent. Audience members will submit questions and each pair of candidates will be read the question by moderator Ardith Keck. The next pair of candidates gets a different audience question, and so on, Hall said.
After two or three rounds (or 45 minutes), the probate court candidates and 9th District Court of Appeals candidates will take the stage. They will be asked questions in the same style, Hall said.
In the last round of questioning, the candidates will individually choose whether they want to answer a question that was asked to another candidate or to pick another question.
"It's interesting to see what questions they choose," Hall said. "You get to see what issues are important to them."
The League has hosted this event for the past few years for several reasons, but the most important one is to educate voters.
"Most people don't pay attention to any judgeship campaign unless a lot of money is spent on the campaign," Hall said. "It's important for people to know who these candidates are and to see them in person."
League President Tina Merlitti agreed.
"We feel it's important that people are well informed about their judicial candidates, and we know that a lot of times it's difficult for candidates to get their information out there," Merlitti said. "We think it's important people vote the entire ballot and not just the presidential race."
Clair E. Dickinson and Jennifer Hensal (9th District Court of Appeals)
Kathryn Michael and Tammy O'Brien (Common Pleas)
Paul J. Gallagher and Dave Lombardi (Common Pleas)
John Fickes and Amy Corrigall Jones (Common Pleas)
Eddie Sipplen and Thomas Teodosio (Common Pleas)
Alison McCarty and Elinore Marsh Stormer (Probate Court)
What: Akron Area League of Women Voters Judicial Forum
When: Oct. 23 at 7 p.m.
Where: Shaw Jewish Community Center, 750 White Pond Dr., Akron