A link has been posted to your Facebook feed.
The Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy at York College is conducting a survey related to the York County Bar Association Poll, an evaluation that provides ratings about the candidates who are running for judge.
The York County Bar Associationasks its more than 500 members each election about the candidates seeking the bench. Lawyers evaluate candidates' professional competence, temperament and integrity and return ratings of highly qualified, qualified, not presently qualified or no opinion.
Vinny Cannizzaro, director of the Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy, said he’s trying to understand what the general public thinks about the poll and whether people use the information at the voting booth. The institute, he said, does a lot of research for community organizations.
“I think it’s really important to the institute to be able to democratize the voting process as much as we can, and get voters to have easily digestible information that they can actually use when it comes time to go into the voting booth,” Cannizzaro said.
RELATED: Why the York County Bar Association Poll of judge candidates matters (column)
Cannizzaro said anyone who lives in York County — they don’t have to be a registered voter — can take the survey. It closes on March 31.
He said he plans to write and publicly distribute a report for the bar association.
Victoria Connor, CEO of the York County Bar Association, said she sits on the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Judicial Evaluation Commission, which interviews candidates for the appellate courts.
The Pennsylvania Bar Association, she said, created a website called PA Vote Smart that hosts the results of the statewide judicial ratings. Connor said the vision is that county bar associations will submit their evaluations, making that a one-stop shop for information.
In 2019, Connor said, she received a lot of feedback about the York County Bar Association Poll.
Connor said the organization plans to give more information to its members about the qualifications of the candidates. That’s in addition to putting out more user-friendly communication about the results.
“It’s not just one arm,” Connor said. “It’s really a sweeping vision to enhance both the effectiveness of the poll as well as the results being shared in the community.”
Steve Stambaugh, a personal injury attorney in York Township who’s one of three candidates running for judge, noted that the election results don’t always track with the ratings in the poll.
Stambaugh said he’d be interested to hear what the public thinks about the poll. He’s running with Joe Gothie, a defense attorney in York.
To Suzanne Smith, an attorney in York who’s also running for judge, the survey is a great idea.
York College has hosted judicial forums in the past, she said, and is a logical partner.
Said Smith: “I think the more information available to people, the better.”
The Arthur J. Glatfelter Institute for Public Policy at York College’s survey about the York County Bar Association poll closes on March 31.