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You decide: Should Supreme Court justices choose their leader? Amendment on Tuesday’s ballot

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Major change could be coming to the Wisconsin Supreme Court -- and you'll decide if it does on Election Day Tuesday, April 7th. There are two big statewide decisions on the ballot: Voters will choose a Supreme Court candidate and decide whether an amendment should be made to the state's constitution.

The candidates for Wisconsin Supreme Court on Monday made a final push to connect with voters before the election.

Justice Ann Walsh Bradley spent Monday in Milwaukee, meeting voters at a coffee shop and other places around the city. Her opponent, Rock County Circuit Judge James Daley planned to be in Milwaukee outside of Miller Park -- where the Brewers opened their season vs. the Colorado Rockies.

As Bradley and Daley battle for the Supreme Court seat, they weighed in on another contentious item voters will decide on Tuesday: a constitutional amendment that asks voters whether the chief justice should be elected for a two-year term by a majority of the justices. Currently, the chief justice selection is made on the basis of seniority.

Republicans are backing the amendment, asking that voters say "yes" on Tuesday. But naysayers like former Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske feel the real democratic option is already in place.

"We vote for our Supreme Court justice and twice elected Shirley Abrahamson our chief court justice, not corporate special interests who want a chief justice they choose," Geske said.

That's a sentiment that Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley backs.

"I think it's headed in the wrong direction and people should vote 'no' on that amendment," Bradley said.

For the last 126 years, the chief justice has been selected by who is most experienced, but for supporters like Daley, Bradley's challenger, they feel the current process has proven to be detrimental.

"The disadvantage of the system is that chief judge`s position is a position of power. Sets the agenda, controls the budgets, controls all the communications for the judicial branch. A lot of the public dysfunction we've seen on the Supreme Court would go away as soon as the chief justice position becomes accountable to the other six," Daley said.

Republicans who control the Legislature crafted the constitutional amendment.

The debate over what's truly democratic and beneficial will come to a conclusion when voters cast their ballots on Tuesday.

A big concern for the Supreme Court justice election and the constitutional amendment decision is turnout. The Government Accountability Board is predicting voter turnout around 20%.