Early returns showed Ohio voters opposing a constitutional amendment raising the age limit for judges from 70 to 75.
With 8 percent of the vote counted, nearly 61 percent of voters had rejected raising an age cap of 70 that has been in place for nearly 40 years. The 1973 law stemmed from a philosophy that age can affect judgment.
Ten percent of sitting judges, including two Supreme Court justices, would face the current age limit within the next six years.
Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor endorsed the extended age limit and appeared in ads supporting a yes vote. She argued people are now living and working longer, and older judges offer valuable experience. Opponents, including an association of county prosecutors, said age still affects judgment.