H. B. 2962
(By Delegates Amores and Trump )
[Introduced March 10, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §3-9-6 of the Code of West Virginia,
1931, as amended, relating to elections generally; and
authorizing the Secretary of State to train, appoint and pay
expenses for volunteer election observers.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-9-6 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be
amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 9. OFFENSES AND PENALTIES.
§3-9-6. Unauthorized presence in election room; three hundred
foot limit; penalties.
If any person, not herein authorized so to do, enters or
attempts to enter the election room, except upon a lawful errand
and for a proper purpose, or remains within three hundred feet of
the outside entrance to the building housing the polling place,
contrary to the provisions of this chapter, he or she
guilty of a misdemeanor and, on conviction thereof, shall be fined
not less than fifty dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or confined in
jail for not more than thirty days.
Excepting those individuals provided for expressly in this or
other sections of the code, only full-time employees of the
Secretary of State's office or full-time employees of the
respective county offices of the county clerk or the county
prosecutor may enter or otherwise disturb the polling place:
Provided, That the Secretary of State may appoint, train and pay
expenses for teams of volunteer election observers as follows:
(1) Each team shall have no more than three nor less than two
(2) No two members of a team may be of the same political
(3) Each member must be an eligible voter in this state;
(4) Each member must successfully complete training in the
conduct of free and fair elections in this state as prescribed and
provided by the office of the Secretary of State;
(5) Teams shall have total access to observe all county and
municipal election activities in the vote counting centers on the
day of the election from the time the polls open until the
unofficial returns are posted;
(6) Volunteer election observers may be reimbursed for
reasonable travel costs and the reasonable cost of lodging for one
night from funds appropriated to the office of the Secretary of
(7) A volunteer election observer may not serve as an observer
in his or her own county of residence or in any county contiguous to it.
Nothing in this section may be construed to permit nonresident
observers in any polling or ballot counting place in this state.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize the Secretary
of State to appoint, train and pay the necessary expenses of
volunteer election observers in this state.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would