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Introduced Version House Bill 2961 History

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hb2961 intr
H. B. 2961


(By Delegate Hall)

[Introduced March 10, 2005; referred to the

Committee on the Judiciary.]





A BILL to amend and reenact §3-1-17 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §3-5-4 of said code; and to amend and reenact §50-1-1 of said code, all relating to election of magistrates, providing for numbered divisions within counties having more than one magistrate for election purposes only beginning with the primary and general elections to be held in the year two thousand eight; and providing for the nomination or election of a candidate for magistrate receiving the highest number of votes within a division.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §3-1-17 of the code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that §3-5-4 of said code be amended and reenacted; and that §50-1-1 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

CHAPTER 3. ELECTIONS.

ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS AND DEFINITIONS.
§3-1-17. Election of circuit judges; county and district officers; magistrates.
There shall be elected, at the general election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, and in every eighth year thereafter, one judge of the circuit court of every judicial circuit entitled to but one judge, and one judge for each numbered division of the judicial circuit in those judicial circuits entitled to two or more circuit judges; and at the general election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, and in every fourth year thereafter, a sheriff, prosecuting attorney, surveyor of lands, and the number of assessors prescribed by law for the county, and the number of magistrates prescribed by law for the county: Provided, That there shall be elected at the general election to be held in the year two thousand eight, and in every fourth year thereafter, one magistrate of every county entitled to but one magistrate and one magistrate for each numbered division for magistrates in those counties entitled to two or more magistrates; and at the general election to be held in the year, one thousand nine hundred ninety, and in every second year thereafter, a commissioner of the county commission for each county; and at the general election to be held in the year, one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, and in every sixth year thereafter, a clerk of the county commission and a clerk of the circuit court for each county.
ARTICLE 5. PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND NOMINATING PROCEDURES.
§3-5-4. Nomination of candidates in primary elections.
At each primary election, the candidate or candidates of each political party for all offices to be filled at the ensuing general election by the voters of the entire State, of each congressional district, of each State senatorial district, of each delegate district, of each judicial circuit of West Virginia, of each county, and of each magisterial district in the State shall be nominated by the voters of the different political parties, except that no presidential elector shall be nominated at a primary election.
In primary elections a plurality of the votes cast shall be sufficient for the nomination of candidates for office. Where only one candidate of a political party for any office in a political division, including party committeemen and delegates to national conventions, is to be chosen, or where a judicial circuit has two or more circuit judges and one circuit judge is to be chosen for each numbered division within the circuit, or where a county is entitled to two or more magistrates and one magistrate is to be chosen for each numbered division for magistrate in the county, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes therefor in the primary election shall be declared the party nominee for such office. Where two or more such candidates are to be chosen in the primary election, the candidates constituting the proper number to be so chosen who shall receive the highest number of votes cast in the political division in which they are candidates shall be declared the party nominees and choices for such offices, except that: (1) Candidates for the office of commissioner of the county commission shall be nominated and elected in accordance with the provisions of section ten, article nine of the Constitution of the State of West Virginia; (2) members of county boards of education shall be elected at primary elections in accordance with the provisions of sections five and six of this article; (3) candidates for the House of Delegates shall be nominated and elected in accordance with the residence restrictions provided in section two, article two, chapter one of this code; and (4) in judicial circuits having numbered divisions and in counties with numbered divisions for the office of magistrate, each numbered division shall be tallied separately and the candidate in each division receiving a plurality of the votes cast shall be declared the party nominee for the office in that numbered division.
In case of tie votes between candidates for party nominations or elections in primary elections, the choice of the political party shall be determined by the executive committee of the party for the political division in which such persons are candidates.
CHAPTER 50. MAGISTRATE COURTS.

ARTICLE 1. COURTS AND OFFICERS.
§50-1-1. Magistrate court created.

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 the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-six, and in every fourth year thereafter, such number of magistrates as is provided in section two of this article. Beginning with the primary and general elections to be conducted in the year two thousand eight, and in every fourth year thereafter, in all counties having two or more magistrates there shall be, for election purposes, numbered divisions corresponding to the number of magistrates to be elected. Each magistrate will be elected at large from the entire county. In each numbered division, the candidates for nomination or election shall be voted upon and the votes cast for the candidates in each division shall be tallied separately from the votes cast for candidates in other numbered divisions within the county. The candidate receiving the highest number of votes within a numbered division shall be nominated or elected, as the case may be. 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 the first day of January of the year following the year of election.
In counties where voting machines or electronic voting systems are used, the procedures of section eleven, article four, chapter three and section twelve, article four-a of said chapter three of this code shall apply respectively to the election of magistrates in the same manner as they apply to the election of members of the House of Delegates.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section seven, article five, chapter three of this code, for purposes of the primary election to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-six, the last day for filing certificates of candidacy for the office of magistrate shall be extended to the twenty-seventh day of February of that year.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for numbered divisions for the nomination and election of magistrates in counties that have two or more magistrates, beginning in the year 2008. The divisions and election procedures therefor are essentially similar as provided for the nomination and election of circuit judges in circuits having more than one judge.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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