The League of Women Voters held a candidate’s forum on Tuesday for the three Carroll County State Court Judge candidates.

Met Lane, Nathaniel Smith, and Erica Tisinger are all running for the State Court Judge position and will appear on the ballot on June 9.

The forum was held virtually and was hosted by the league and moderated by Robin Collins. Candidates addressed issues such as incarceration, court trials, the war on drugs, and more.

Smith said that he thinks that the greatest obstacles to justice is people’s faith in the system itself. Tisinger said that the greatest obstacles are money and the perception of being treated fairly in the courtroom. Lane said that specifically in Carroll County, the greatest obstacle is the huge caseload and inability for a citizen to get their day in court.

When it comes to the high rates of minority incarcerations, Lane attributed this to the breakdown of the family. Smith said that it could be due to a policing issue, specifically over-policing. Tisinger said that while it might be an unpopular opinion, the incarceration is due to prejudice.

Tisinger’s idea for the future of the judicial system is that people continue to have faith and trust that when their case is heard, they are being treated fairly and with respect. She said that changes she would make on the State Court would include being accessible and create relationships with the prosecutors and attorneys.

Lane said that he would help move cases along due to the heavy caseload and would work more to make that happen. He would also look for ways to bring costs down, including sharing jurors with Superior Court or asking county commissioners for funding.

Smith said that large scale, he would like to see more diversity on the bench and also see more people have faith in the system. He said that he has seen people not have faith in the system and the change he would like to see is people being able to rely on the system.

The full forum can be found on the YouTube page for the League of Women Voters Carrollton — Carroll County.

Early voting in Carroll County has already begun and June 9 is the election day for the State Court Judge.