Voters are being asked this fall to vote on nine local and state judges.
Under Colorado’s system, judges are appointed by the governor, and then placed on the ballot every four years, when voters decide whether to retain or depose them. The system avoids having judges campaign for election and fundraise, sometimes on a partisan basis, in contested elections, which is the case across many states. Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor condemned that process in a speech at the Aspen Institute last summer.
The judges on the ballot here this year are Supreme Court Justices Nathan B. Coats; Court of Appeals judges Laurie A. Booras, James S. Casebolt, Dennis A. Graham, Gail T. Miller, Daniel Mark Taubman and John R. Web; District judges James Berkley Boyd and Daniel B. Petre.
The nonpartisan Colorado Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation recommends retaining all nine of these judges. Voters can access more nonpartisan information about the judges and the retention process at www.knowyourjudge.com 
Judge Boyd is the chief judge for the district, based in Glenwood Springs. His best-known recent decisions and cases include dismissing criminal charges against local building inspectors for the carbon monoxide death of a family in 2011, accepting the plea deal allowing actor Charlie Sheen to avoid jail on felony menacing charges, and overseeing the trial of the alleged Centennial rapist in 2010.
In a survey of attorneys who have dealt with the judge, by the judicial board, 89 percent recommended to retain Boyd. Eighty-five percent of non-attorneys surveyed recommended to retain him.
Judge Petre, also based in Glenwood, is best known for recent decisions in favor of allowing four-lane Entrance to Aspen proponents to put a question on an upcoming local ballot, and sentencing an Aspen man to a suspended prison sentence for his role in a heroin distribution case stemming from the overdose death of a visitor.
In the attorney survey, 64 percent recommended retaining Petre. Seventy-seven percent of non-attorneys recommended retaining him.
Since the retention system has been in place, 99 percent of judges have been retained and voters have never opted not to retain an appellate judge. A total of seven judges have been fired by voters since 1990, none of them from the Pitkin-Garfield-Rio Blanco district. The most well-known ouster under the system came in 2002, when Steamboat Springs District Court Judge Joel Thompson was voted out after his live-in girlfriend was arrested on cocaine distribution charges.