There is hereby created in each county of this state a magistrate court with such numbers of magistrates for each court as are hereafter provided. There shall be elected by the voters of each county, at the general election to be held in 1976, and in every fourth year thereafter, such number of magistrates as is provided in section two of this article. The filing fee for the office of magistrate shall be one percent of the annual salary. The term of magistrates shall be for four years and shall begin on January 1, of the year following the year of election.
Effective with the primary election of 2016, all elections for magistrates will be on a nonpartisan basis by division. Beginning in 2016, there will no longer be primary elections held for magistrates and all elections for magistrates are to be held in the nonpartisan judicial election as set forth in article five, chapter three of this code. All indications of party identification on election ballots for magistrate shall be omitted.