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Introduced Version House Bill 3038 History

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H. B. 3038

 

         (By Delegates Barker, Lawrence, Ferro, Frazier

and Miley)

         (At the Request of the Secretary of State)

         [Introduced February 7, 2011; referred to the

         Committee on the Judiciary then Finance.]

 

 

A BILL to amend and reenact §3-1-9, §3-1-21, §3-1-31, §3-1-34, §3-1-35 and §3-1-50 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; to amend and reenact §3-5-7, §3-5-8, §3-5-13a, §3-5-21, §3-5-23 and §3-5-24 of said code; to amend and reenact §3-6-4a of said code; to amend and reenact §3-8-1a and §3-8-5a of said code; to amend and reenact §3-9-6 of said code; to amend and reenact §8-5-14; and to amend and reenact §59-3-3 of said code, all relating to the clarification of inconsistences in the election code and the elimination of obsolete and outdated language.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §3-1-9, §3-1-21, §3-1-31, §3-1-34, §3-1-35 and §3-1-50 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; that §3-5-7, §3-5-8, §3-5-13a, §3-5-21, §3-5-23 and §3-5-24 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §3-6-4a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §3-8-1a and §3-8-5a of said code be amended and reenacted; that §3-9-6 of said code be amended and reenacted; that §8-5-14 be amended and reenacted; and that §59-3-3 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

CHAPTER 3. ELECTIONS.

ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS AND DEFINITIONS.

§3-1-9. Political party committees; how composed; organization.

    (a) Every fourth year at the primary election, the voters of each political party in each state senatorial district shall elect four members consisting of two male members and two female members of the state executive committee of the party. In state senatorial districts containing two or more counties, not more than two elected committee members shall be residents of the same county: Provided, That at each election the votes shall be tallied from highest to lowest without regard to gender or county of residence. The two candidates with the highest votes shall be elected first and the other candidates shall be qualified based on vote tallies, gender and county of residence. Upon completion of the canvass, the clerk of the county commission from each county shall send the results of the election of members of each state executive committee and certificates of announcement, if any, to the Secretary of State. Upon certification of the election results, the Secretary of State shall make known to each state executive committee the members elected to such committee and the vacancies, if any. The committee, when convened and organized as herein provided, shall appoint three additional members of the committee from the state at large which shall constitute the entire voting membership of the state executive committee. Provided, however, That If it chooses to do so, the committee may, by motion or resolution and in accordance with party rules, may expand the voting membership of the committee. When senatorial districts are realigned following a decennial census, members of the state executive committee previously elected or appointed shall continue in office until the expiration of their terms. Appointments made to fill vacancies on the committee until the next election of executive committee members shall be selected from the previously established districts. At the first election of executive committee members following the realignment of senatorial districts, members shall be elected from the newly established districts.

    (b) At the primary election, the voters of each political party in each county shall elect one male and one female member of the party's executive committee of the congressional district, of the state senatorial district and of the delegate district in which the county is situated if the county is situated in a multicounty state senatorial or delegate district. Upon completion of the canvass, the clerk of the county commission from each county shall send the results of the election of members of each congressional district, state senatorial district and delegate district executive committee of each party to the Secretary of State. Upon certification of the election results, the Secretary of State shall make known to each state executive committee the members elected to each congressional district, state senatorial district and delegate district executive committee and the vacancies, if any. Upon receipt, the state executive committee shall make known any vacancies to the applicable county executive committee for the purpose of filling said vacancies as provided in subsection (f) of this section. When districts are realigned following a decennial census, members of an executive committee previously elected in a county to represent that county in a congressional or multicounty senatorial or delegate district executive committee shall continue to represent that county in the appropriate newly constituted multicounty district until the expiration of their terms. Provided, That The county executive committee of the political party shall determine which previously elected members will represent the county if the number of multicounty state senatorial or delegate districts in the county is decreased and shall appoint members to complete the remainder of the term if the number of districts is increased.

    (c) At the same time the voters of the county in each magisterial district or executive committee district, as the case may be, shall elect one male and one female member of the party's county executive committee except that in counties having three executive committee districts, there shall be elected two male and two female members of the party's executive committee from each magisterial or executive committee district. Upon completion of the canvass, the clerk of the county commission from each county shall send the results of the election of members of the county executive committee of each party along with the certificates of announcement to the Secretary of State. Upon certification of the election results, the Secretary of State shall make known to each state executive committee the members elected to the county committee and the vacancies, if any. Upon receipt, the state executive committee shall make known any vacancies to the applicable county executive committee for the purpose of filling said vacancies as provided in subsection (f) of this section.

    (d) For the purpose of complying with the provisions of this section, the county commission shall create the executive committee districts. The districts shall not be fewer than the number of magisterial districts in the county nor shall they exceed in number the following: Forty for counties having a population of one hundred thousand persons or more; thirty for counties having a population of fifty thousand to one hundred thousand; twenty for counties having a population of twenty thousand to fifty thousand; and the districts in counties having a population of less than twenty thousand persons shall be coextensive with the magisterial districts.

    (e) The executive committee districts shall be as nearly equal in population as practicable and shall each be composed of compact, contiguous territory. The county commissions shall change the territorial boundaries of the districts as required by the increase or decrease in the population of the districts as determined by a decennial census. The changes must be made within two years following the census.

    (f) All members of executive committees, selected for each political division as herein provided, shall reside within the county or district from which chosen. The term of office of all members of executive committees elected at the primary election in the year two thousand ten will begin on the first day of July, following the primary election and continue for four years thereafter, except as provided in subsection (g) of this section. Vacancies in the state executive committee shall be filled by the members of the committee for the unexpired term. Vacancies in the party's executive committee of a congressional district, state senatorial district, delegate district or county shall be filled by the party's executive committee of the county in which the vacancy exists for the unexpired term.

    (g) As soon as possible after the certification of the election of the new executive committees, as herein provided, the newly elected executive committee shall convene an organizational meeting within their respective political divisions, on the call of the chair of the corresponding outgoing executive committee or by any member of the new executive committee in the event there is no corresponding outgoing executive committee. During the first meeting the new executive committee shall select a chair, a treasurer and a secretary and other officers as they may desire. Each of the officers shall, for their respective committees, perform the duties that usually appertain to his or her office. The organizational meeting may be conducted prior to July 1, but must occur after the certification of the election of the new executive committees. If the organizational meeting is conducted prior to July 1, the new committee shall serve out the remainder of the outgoing committee’s term and is authorized to conduct official business. A current listing of all executive committees’ members shall be filed with the Secretary of State by of July 31 of each year. Vacancies in any executive committee shall be filled by the appropriate executive committee as provided in subsection (f) of this section no later than sixty days after the vacancy occurs. The chair of each executive committee shall submit an updated committee list to the Secretary of State within ten days of a change occurring. Executive committee membership lists shall include at least the member’s name, full address, employer, telephone number and term information. An appointment to fill a vacancy does not take effect if the executive committee does not submit the updated list to the Secretary of State within the allotted time period. If the executive committee fails to submit the updated list within the allotted time period, it must make another appointment pursuant to the provisions of this section and resubmit the updated list in a timely manner. If a vacancy on an executive committee is not filled within the sixty-day period prescribed by this section, the chair of the appropriate executive committee, as provided in subsection (f) of this section, shall name someone to fill the vacancy. If the chair of a county executive committee fails to fill a vacancy in a congressional district, state senatorial district or delegate district executive committee, and the failure to fill such vacancy prohibits said committee from conducting official business, the chair of the party’s state executive committee shall fill such vacancy.

    (h) Any meeting of any political party executive committee shall be held only after public notice and notice to each member is given according to party rules and shall be open to all members affiliated with the party. Meetings shall be conducted according to party rules, all official actions shall be made by voice vote and minutes shall be maintained and shall be open to inspection by members affiliated with the party.

§3-1-21. Printing of official and sample ballots; number; packaging and delivery; correction of ballots.

    (a) The board of ballot commissioners for each county shall provide the ballots and sample ballots necessary for conducting every election for public officers in which the voters of the county participate.

    (b) The persons required to provide the ballots necessary for conducting all other elections are:

    (1) The Secretary of State, for any statewide special election ordered by the Legislature;

    (2) The board of ballot commissioners, for any countywide special election ordered by the county commission;

    (3) The board of education, for any special levy or bond election ordered by the board of education; or

    (4) The municipal board of ballot commissioners, for any election conducted for or within a municipality except an election in which the matter affecting the municipality is placed on the county ballot at a county election. Ballots other than those printed by the proper authorities as specified in this section may not be cast, received or counted in any election.

    (c) When paper ballots are used, the total number of regular official ballots printed shall equal one and one-twentieth times the number of registered voters eligible to vote that ballot. When paper ballots are used in conjunction with or as part of an electronic voting system, the total number of regular official ballots printed shall equal at a minimum eighty percent of the number of registered voters eligible to vote that ballot. The clerk of the county commission shall determine the number of absentee official ballots.

    (d) The number of regular official ballots packaged for each precinct shall equal at a minimum seventy-five percent of the number of registered voters of the precinct. The remaining regular official ballots shall be packaged and delivered to the clerk of the county commission, who shall retain them unopened until they are required for an emergency. Each package of ballots shall be wrapped and sealed in a manner which will immediately make apparent any attempt to open, alter or tamper with the ballots. Each package of ballots for a precinct shall be clearly labeled, in a manner which cannot be altered, with the county name, the precinct number and the number of ballots contained in each package. If the packaging material conceals the face of the ballot, a sample ballot identical to the official ballots contained therein shall be securely attached to the outside of the package or, in the case of ballot cards, the type of ballot shall be included in the label.

    (e) All absentee ballots necessary for conducting absentee voting in all voting systems shall be delivered to the clerk of the county commission of the appropriate county not later than the forty-second forty-sixth day before the election. All official ballots in paper ballot systems shall be delivered to the clerk of the county commission of the appropriate county not later than twenty-eight days before the election.

    (f) Upon a finding of the Board of Ballot Commissioners that an official ballot contains an error which, in the opinion of the board, is of sufficient magnitude to confuse or mislead the voters, the board shall cause the error to be corrected either by the reprinting of the ballots or by the use of stickers printed with the correction and of suitable size to be placed over the error without covering any other portion of the ballot.

§3-1-31. Days and hours of elections.

    (a) General elections shall be held in the several election precincts of the state on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November of each even year. Primary and special elections shall be held on the days provided by law therefor.

    (b) Other than as provided for municipal elections in section fourteen, article five, chapter eight of this code, at every primary, general or special election the polls shall be opened in each precinct on the day of such election at six-thirty o'clock in the forenoon and be closed at seven-thirty o'clock in the evening.

§3-1-34. Voting procedures generally; assistance to voters; voting records; penalties.

    (a) Any person desiring to vote in an election shall, upon entering the election room, clearly state his or her name and residence to one of the poll clerks who shall thereupon announce the same in a clear and distinct tone of voice. If that person is found to be duly registered as a voter at that precinct, he or she shall sign his or her name in the designated location provided at the precinct. If that person is physically or otherwise unable to sign his or her name, his or her mark shall be affixed by one of the poll clerks in the presence of the other and the name of the poll clerk affixing the voter's mark shall be indicated immediately under the affixation. No ballot may be given to the person until he or she signs his or her name on the designated location or his or her signature is affixed thereon.

    (b) The clerk of the county commission is authorized, upon verification that the precinct at which a handicapped person is registered to vote is not handicap accessible, to transfer that person's registration to the nearest polling place in the county which is handicap accessible. A request by a handicapped person for a transfer of registration must be received by the county clerk no later than thirty days prior to the date of the election. Any handicapped person who has not made a request for a transfer of registration at least thirty days prior to the date of the election may vote a provisional ballot at a handicap accessible polling place in the county of his or her registration. If, during the canvass, the county commission determines that the person had been registered in a precinct that is not handicap accessible, the voted ballot, if otherwise valid, shall be counted. The handicapped person may vote in the precinct to which the registration was transferred only as long as the disability exists or the precinct from which the handicapped person was transferred remains inaccessible to the handicapped. To ensure confidentiality of the transferred ballot, the county clerk processing the ballot shall provide the voter with an unmarked envelope and an outer envelope designated "provisional ballot/handicapped voter". After validation of the ballot at the canvass, the outer envelope shall be destroyed and the handicapped voter's ballot shall be placed with other approved provisional ballots prior to removal of the ballot from the unmarked envelope.

    (c) When the voter's signature is properly marked, the two poll clerks shall sign their names in the places indicated on the back of the official ballot and deliver the ballot to the voter to be voted by him or her without leaving the election room. If he or she returns the ballot spoiled to the clerks, they shall immediately mark the ballot "spoiled" and it shall be preserved and placed in a spoiled ballot envelope together with other spoiled ballots to be delivered to the board of canvassers and deliver to the voter another official ballot, signed by the clerks on the reverse side. The voter shall thereupon retire alone to the booth or compartment prepared within the election room for voting purposes and there prepare his or her ballot. In voting for candidates in general and special elections, the voter shall comply with the rules and procedures prescribed in section five, article six of this chapter.

    (d) It is the duty of a poll clerk, in the presence of the other poll clerk, to indicate by a check mark, or by other means, inserted in the appropriate place on the registration record of each voter the fact that the voter voted in the election. In primary elections the clerk shall also insert thereon a distinguishing initial or initials of the political party for whose candidates the voter voted. If a person is challenged at the polls, the challenge shall be indicated by the poll clerks on the registration record, together with the name of the challenger. The subsequent removal of the challenge shall be recorded on the registration record by the clerk of the county commission.

    (e) (1) No voter may receive any assistance in voting unless, by reason of blindness, disability, advanced age or inability to read and write, that voter is unable to vote without assistance. Any voter qualified to receive assistance in voting under the provisions of this section may:

    (A) Declare his or her choice of candidates to an election commissioner of each political party who, in the presence of the voter and in the presence of each other, shall prepare the ballot for voting in the manner hereinbefore provided and, on request, shall read to the voter the names of the candidates selected on the ballot;

    (B) Require the election commissioners to indicate to him or her the relative position of the names of the candidates on the ballot, whereupon the voter shall retire to one of the booths or compartments to prepare his or her ballot in the manner hereinbefore provided;

    (C) Be assisted by any person of the voter's choice, other than the voter's present or former employer or agent of that employer, the officer or agent of a labor union of which the voter is a past or present member or a candidate on the ballot or an official write-in candidate; or

    (D) If he or she is handicapped, vote from an automobile outside the polling place or precinct by the absentee balloting method provided in subsection (e), section five, article three of this chapter in the presence of an election commissioner of each political party if all of the following conditions are met:

    (i) The polling place is not handicap accessible; and

    (ii) No voters are voting or waiting to vote inside the polling place.

    (2) The voted ballot shall then be returned to the precinct officials and secured in a sealed envelope to be returned to the clerk of the county commission with all other election materials. The ballot shall then be tabulated using the appropriate method provided in section eight, article three of this chapter as it relates to the specific voting system in use.

    (3) Any voter who requests assistance in voting but who is believed not to be qualified for assistance under the provisions of this section shall nevertheless be permitted to vote a provisional ballot with the assistance of any person herein authorized to render assistance.

    (4) Any one or more of the election commissioners or poll clerks in the precinct may challenge the ballot on the ground that the voter thereof received assistance in voting it when in his, her or their opinion the person who received assistance in voting is not so illiterate, blind, disabled or of such advanced age as to have been unable to vote without assistance. The election commissioner or poll clerk or commissioners or poll clerks making the challenge shall enter the challenge and reason therefor on the form and in the manner prescribed or authorized by article three of this chapter.

    (5) An election commissioner or other person who assists a voter in voting:

    (A) May not in any manner request or seek to persuade or induce the voter to vote any particular ticket or for any particular candidate or for or against any public question and must not keep or make any memorandum or entry of anything occurring within the voting booth or compartment and must not, directly or indirectly, reveal to any person the name of any candidate voted for by the voter or which ticket he or she had voted or how he or she had voted on any public question or anything occurring within the voting booth or compartment or voting machine booth except when required pursuant to law to give testimony as to the matter in a judicial proceeding; and

    (B) Shall sign a written oath or affirmation before assisting the voter on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State stating that he or she will not override the actual preference of the voter being assisted, attempt to influence the voter's choice or mislead the voter into voting for someone other than the candidate of voter's choice. The person assisting the voter shall also swear or affirm that he or she believes that the voter is voting free of intimidation or manipulation. Provided, That No person providing assistance to a voter is required to sign an oath or affirmation where the reason for requesting assistance is the voter's inability to vote without assistance because of blindness as defined in section three, article fifteen, chapter five of this code and the inability to vote without assistance because of blindness is certified in writing by a physician of the voter's choice and is on file in the office of the clerk of the county commission.

    (6) In accordance with instructions issued by the Secretary of State, the clerk of the county commission shall provide a form entitled "list of assisted voters", the form of which list shall likewise be prescribed by the Secretary of State. The commissioners shall enter the name of each voter receiving assistance in voting the ballot together with the poll slip number of that voter and the signature of the person or the commissioner from each party who assisted the voter. If no voter has been assisted in voting, the commissioners shall likewise make and subscribe to an oath of that fact on the list.

    (f) After preparing the ballot, the voter shall fold the ballot so that the face is not exposed and so that the names of the poll clerks thereon are seen. The voter shall announce his or her name and present his or her ballot to one of the commissioners who shall hand the same to another commissioner, of a different political party, who shall deposit it in the ballot box if the ballot is the official one and properly signed. The commissioner of election may inspect every ballot before it is deposited in the ballot box to ascertain whether it is single but without unfolding or unrolling it so as to disclose its content. When the voter has voted, he or she shall retire immediately from the election room and beyond the sixty-foot three hundred-foot limit thereof and may not return except by permission of the commissioners.

    (g) Following the election, the oaths or affirmations required by this section from those assisting voters, together with the "list of assisted voters", shall be returned by the election commissioners to the clerk of the county commission along with the election supplies, records and returns. The clerk of the county commission shall make the oaths, affirmations and list available for public inspection and shall preserve them for a period of twenty-two months or until disposition is authorized or directed by the Secretary of State or court of record. Provided, That The clerk may use these records to update the voter registration records in accordance with subsection (d), section eighteen, article two of this chapter.

    (h) Any person making an oath or affirmation required under the provisions of this section who knowingly swears falsely or any person who counsels, advises, aids or abets another in the commission of false swearing under this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in jail for a period of not more than one year, or both fined and confined.

    (i) Any election commissioner or poll clerk who authorizes or provides unchallenged assistance to a voter when the voter is known to the election commissioner or poll clerk not to require assistance in voting is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility for a period of not less than one year nor more than five years, or both fined and imprisoned.

§3-1-35. Ballots to be furnished voters.

    In general and special elections the ballots for all voters of an election precinct shall be the same. In primary elections the ballot of the voter's political party at that election in that precinct shall be furnished to the voter together with separate ballots, if any, on any nonpartisan candidates and any public questions submitted to the voters generally at such primary election. In the event the voter is lawfully registered as "independent" or as an adherent of a political party not appearing on any primary election ballot to be voted in his precinct, he shall not, in a primary election, be given or entitled to vote any a party ballot be given a party ballot and is not entitled to vote a party ballot unless the voter requests a ballot of a political party that has permitted the voter to vote according to section thirty-one, article two, of this chapter. but shall be furnished any separate ballots to be voted thereat on nonpartisan candidates and public questions.

§3-1-50. Establishment of state-based administrative complaint procedures.

    The Secretary of State shall establish and maintain a state-based administrative complaint procedure for complaints received concerning election violations which shall meet the following requirements:

    (1) The procedures shall be uniform and nondiscriminatory.

    (2) Under the procedures, any person who believes that there is a violation of any provision of this chapter Title III of the Help America Vote Act of 2002, 42 United States Code §§15481 and 15485, including a violation which has occurred, is occurring or is about to occur, may file a complaint.

    (3) Any complaint filed under the procedures shall be in writing, notarized and signed and sworn by the person filing the complaint.

    (4) The Secretary of State may consolidate complaints filed under this section.

    (5) At the request of the complainant, there shall be a hearing on the record.

    (6) Violations of any provision of this chapter shall be punishable in accordance with the provisions of article nine of this chapter.

    (7) If, under the procedures, the Secretary of State determines that there is no violation, the Secretary of State shall dismiss the complaint and publish the results of the procedures.

    (8) The Secretary of State shall make a final determination with respect to a complaint prior to the expiration of the ninety-day period which begins on the date the complaint is filed unless the complainant consents to a longer period for making a determination.

    (9) If the Secretary of State fails to meet the deadline applicable under subdivision (8) of this section, the complaint shall be resolved within sixty days under alternative dispute resolution procedures established for purposes of this section. The record and other materials from any proceedings conducted under the complaint procedures established under this section shall be made available for use under the alternative dispute resolution procedures.

ARTICLE 5. PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND NOMINATING PROCEDURES.

§3-5-7. Filing announcements of candidacies; requirements; withdrawal of candidates when section applicable.

    (a) Any person who is eligible and seeks to hold an office or political party position to be filled by election in any primary or general election held under the provisions of this chapter shall file a certificate of announcement declaring his or her candidacy for the nomination or election to the office.

    (b) The certificate of announcement shall be filed as follows:

    (1) Candidates for the House of Delegates, or the State Senate, circuit court judge, family court judge, state executive committee and any other office or political position to be filled by the voters of more than one county shall file a certificate of announcement with the Secretary of State.

    (2) Candidates for an office or political position to be filled by the voters of a single county or a subdivision of a county, except for candidates for the House of Delegates or State Senate, shall file a certificate of announcement with the clerk of the county commission.

    (3) Candidates for an office to be filled by the voters of a municipality shall file a certificate of announcement with the recorder or city clerk.

    (c) The certificate of announcement shall be filed with the proper officer not earlier than the second Monday in January next preceding the primary election day and not later than the last Saturday in January next preceding the primary election day and must be received before midnight, eastern standard time, of that day or, if mailed, shall be postmarked by the United States Postal Service before that hour.

    (d) The certificate of announcement shall be on a form prescribed by the Secretary of State on which the candidate shall make a sworn statement before a notary public or other officer authorized to administer oaths, containing the following information:

    (1) The date of the election in which the candidate seeks to appear on the ballot;

    (2) The name of the office sought; the district, if any, and the division, if any;

    (3) The legal name of the candidate and the exact name the candidate desires to appear on the ballot, subject to limitations prescribed in section thirteen, article five of this chapter;

    (4) The county of residence and a statement that the candidate is a legally qualified voter of that county and the magisterial district of residence for candidates elected from magisterial districts or under magisterial district limitations;

    (5) The specific address designating the location at which the candidate resides at the time of filing, including number and street or rural route and box number and city, state and zip code;

    (6) For partisan elections, the name of the candidate's political party and a statement that the candidate: (A) Is a member of and affiliated with that political party as evidenced by the candidate's current registration as a voter affiliated with that party; and (B) has not been registered as a voter affiliated with any other political party for a period of sixty days before the date of filing the announcement;

    (7) For candidates for delegate to national convention, the name of the presidential candidate to be listed on the ballot as the preference of the candidate on the first convention ballot or a statement that the candidate prefers to remain "uncommitted";

    (8) A statement that the person filing the certificate of announcement is a candidate for the office in good faith;

    (9) The words "subscribed and sworn to before me this ______ day of _____________, 20____" and a space for the signature of the officer giving the oath.

    (e) The Secretary of State or the Board of Ballot Commissioners, as the case may be, may refuse to certify the candidacy or may remove the certification of the candidacy upon receipt of a certified copy of the voter's registration record of the candidate showing that the candidate was registered as a voter in a party other than the one named in the certificate of announcement during the sixty days immediately preceding the filing of the certificate. Provided, That Unless a signed formal complaint of violation of this section and the certified copy of the voter's registration record of the candidate are filed with the officer receiving that candidate's certificate of announcement no later than ten days following the close of the filing period, the candidate may not be refused certification for this reason.

    (f) The certificate of announcement shall be subscribed and sworn to by the candidate before some officer qualified to administer oaths, who shall certify the same. Any person who knowingly provides false information on the certificate is guilty of false swearing and shall be punished in accordance with section three, article nine of this chapter.

    (g) Any candidate for delegate to a national convention may change his or her statement of presidential preference by notifying the Secretary of State by letter received by the Secretary of State no later than the third Tuesday following the close of candidate filing. When the rules of the political party allow each presidential candidate to approve or reject candidates for delegate to convention who may appear on the ballot as committed to that presidential candidate, the presidential candidate or the candidate's committee on his or her behalf may file a list of approved or rejected candidates for delegate and the Secretary of State shall list as "uncommitted" any candidate for delegate who is disapproved by the presidential candidate.

    (h) A person may not be a candidate for more than one office or office division at any election Provided, That except that a candidate for an office may also be a candidate for President of the United States, for membership on political party executive committees or for delegate to a political party national convention.

    (i) A candidate who files a certificate of announcement for more than one office or division and does not withdraw, as provided by section eleven, article five of this chapter, from all but one office prior to the close of the filing period may not be certified by the Secretary of State or placed on the ballot for any office by the Board of Ballot Commissioners.

    (j) The provisions of this section enacted during the regular session of the Legislature in the year 1991 shall apply to the primary election held in the year 1992 and every primary election held thereafter. The provisions of this section enacted during the regular session of the Legislature in the year 2009 shall apply to the primary election held in the year 2010 and every primary election held thereafter.

§3-5-8. Filing fees and their disposition.

    Every person who becomes a candidate for nomination for or election to office in any primary election shall, at the time of filing the certificate of announcement as required in this article, pay a filing fee as follows:

    (a) A candidate for President of the United States, for Vice President of the United States, for United States Senator, for member of the United States House of Representatives, for Governor and for all other state elective offices shall pay a fee equivalent to one percent of the annual salary of the office for which the candidate announces. Provided, That The filing fee for any candidate for President or Vice President of the United States shall not exceed $2,500 commencing with the 2004 filing period;

    (b) A candidate for the office of judge of a circuit court and judge of a family court shall pay a fee equivalent to one percent of the total annual salary of the office for which the candidate announces;

    (c) A candidate for member of the House of Delegates shall pay a fee of one-half percent of the total annual salary of the office and a candidate for State Senator shall pay a fee of one percent of the total annual salary of the office;

    (d) A candidate for sheriff, prosecuting attorney, circuit clerk, county clerk, assessor, member of the county commission and magistrate shall pay a fee equivalent to one percent of the annual salary, excluding any additional compensation or commission of the office for which the candidate announces. A candidate for county board of education shall pay a fee of $25. A candidate for any other county office shall pay a fee of $10.

    (e) Delegates to the national convention of any political party shall pay the following filing fees:

    A candidate for delegate-at-large shall pay a fee of $20 and a candidate for delegate from a congressional district shall pay a fee of $10.

    (f) Candidates for members of political executive committees and other political committees shall pay the following filing fees:

    A candidate for member of a state executive committee of any political party shall pay a fee of $20; a candidate for member of a county executive committee of any political party shall pay a fee of $10; and a candidate for member of a congressional, senatorial or delegate district committee of any political party shall pay a fee of $5.

    Candidates filing for an office to be filled by the voters of one county shall pay the filing fee to the clerk of the county commission and candidates filing for an office to be filled by the voters of more than one county shall pay the filing fee to the Secretary of State at the time of filing their certificates of announcement and no certificate of announcement shall be received until the filing fee is paid.

    All moneys received by the clerk from the fees shall be credited to the general county fund. Moneys received by the Secretary of State from fees paid by candidates for offices to be filled by all the voters of the state shall be deposited in a special fund for that purpose and shall be apportioned and paid by him or her to the several counties on the basis of population. and that Moneys received from candidates from a district or judicial circuit of more than one county shall be apportioned to the counties comprising the district or judicial circuit in like manner. When such moneys are received by sheriffs, it shall be credited to the general county fund. The remaining twenty-five percent of moneys received by the Secretary of State shall be retained in the special fund and used to offset costs associated with the administration of the election for which the candidates are seeking nomination or election.

§3-5-13a. Order of offices and candidates on the ballot; uniform drawing date.

    (a) The order of offices for state and county elections on all ballots within the state shall be as prescribed herein. When the office does not appear on the ballot in an election, then it shall be omitted from the sequence. When an unexpired term for an office appears on the ballot along with a full term, the unexpired term shall appear immediately below the full term.

    NATIONAL TICKET: President (and Vice President in the general election), United States Senator, member of the United States House of Representatives

    STATE TICKET: Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Commissioner of Agriculture, Attorney General, Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, State Senator, member of the House of Delegates, circuit court judge in multicounty districts, family court judge in multicounty districts, any other multicounty office and State Executive Committee.

    COUNTY TICKET: circuit court judge in single-county districts, family court judge in single-county districts, clerk of the circuit court, county commissioner, clerk of the county commission, prosecuting attorney, sheriff, assessor, magistrate, surveyor, Congressional District Executive Committee, Senatorial District Executive Committee in multicounty districts, Delegate District Executive Committee in multicounty districts and Soil Conservation District Director.

    NATIONAL CONVENTION: Delegate to the National Convention -- at-large; Delegate to the National Convention -- congressional district

    DISTRICT TICKET: Board of Education; County Executive Committee.

    (b) Except for office divisions in which no more than one person has filed a certificate of announcement, the arrangement of names for all offices shall be determined by lot according to the following provisions:

    (1) On the fourth Tuesday following the close of the candidate filing, beginning at nine o'clock a. m., a drawing by lot shall be conducted in the office of the clerk of the county commission in each county. Notice of the drawing shall be given on the form for the certificate of announcement and no further notice shall be is required. The clerk of the county commission shall superintend and conduct the drawing. and The method of conducting the drawing shall be prescribed by the Secretary of State.

    (2) Except as provided herein, the position of each candidate within each office division shall be is determined by the position drawn for that candidate individually. Provided, That If fewer candidates file for an office division than the total number to be nominated or elected, the vacant positions shall appear following the names of all candidates for the office.

    (3) Candidates for Delegate to National Convention who have filed a commitment to a candidate for president shall be listed alphabetically within the group of candidates committed to the same candidate for president and uncommitted candidates shall be listed alphabetically in an uncommitted category. The position of each group of committed candidates and uncommitted candidates shall be determined by lot by drawing the names of the presidential candidates and for an uncommitted category.

    (c) By the close of business on the day of the random drawing explained in this section, the clerk of the county commission shall submit all relevant ballot information to the Secretary of State in a manner prescribed by the Secretary of State.

    (4) A candidate or the candidate's representative may attend the drawings.

§3-5-21. Party conventions to nominate presidential electors; candidates; organization; duties.

    Candidates for presidential electors shall be nominated by the delegated representatives of the political party assembled in a state convention to be held during the months of June, July or August next preceding any general election at which presidential electors are to be elected. The State Executive Committee of the political party, by resolution, shall designate the place and fix the date of the convention, shall prescribe the number of delegates thereto and shall apportion the delegates among the several counties of the state in proportion to the vote cast in the state for the party's candidate for Governor at the last preceding general election at which a Governor was elected. The State Executive Committee shall also ascertain and designate all offices for which candidates are to be nominated at the convention.

    At least sixty days prior to the date fixed for holding any state convention, the chairman of the party's state executive committee shall cause to be delivered to the party's county executive committee in each county of the state a copy of the resolutions fixing the time and place for holding the state convention and prescribing the number of delegates from each county to the convention. Within ten days after receipt of the copy of the resolutions, the party executive committee of each county shall meet and, by resolution, shall apportion the delegates to the state convention among the several magisterial districts of the county on a basis of the vote received in the county by the candidate of the party for Governor at the last preceding general election at which a Governor was elected. but In such apportionment of county delegates each magisterial district shall be entitled to at least one delegate to the state convention. The party's county executive committee shall call a meeting of the members of the political party in mass convention in the county, which meeting shall be held at least thirty days prior to the date fixed for the state convention and at which meeting the members of the political party in each magisterial district shall elect the number of delegates to which the district is entitled in the state convention.

    The meeting place in the county shall be as central and convenient as can reasonably be selected and all recognized members of the political party shall be are entitled to participate in any mass convention and in the selection of delegates. Notice of the time and place of holding the county mass convention and of the person who shall act as temporary chairman thereof shall be given by publication as a Class II-O legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication shall be the county. The first publication shall be made not more than fifteen days and the second publication shall be made not less than five days prior to the date fixed for holding the convention. The notice published shall specify the number of delegates which each magisterial district in the county is entitled to elect to the state convention.

    Upon assembling, the mass convention of the county shall choose a chairman and a secretary, who, within five days after the holding of the convention, shall certify to the chairman of the state executive committee of the political party and the chairman of the county committee of the political party, the names and addresses of the parties selected as delegates to the state convention to the chairman of the state executive committee of the political party and the chairman of the county committee of the political party.

    If, after the election, a vacancy exists for a delegate from any magisterial district, the party’s county executive committee, within ten days after the mass convention, shall appoint a member of the political party in the magisterial district to fill the vacancy and shall certify the appointment to the chairman of the state executive committee of the political party.

    All contests over the selection of delegates to conventions shall be heard and determined by the party executive committee of the county from which the delegates are chosen and the county executive committee shall, upon written petition of any contest, meet for a hearing and make a determination within ten days after the holding of a county mass convention. The circuit court of the county and the Supreme Court of Appeals of the state shall have concurrent original jurisdiction to review, by mandamus or other proper proceeding, the decision of a county executive committee in any contest.

    The delegates chosen and certified by and from the several magisterial districts in the state and, in the event of any contest, those prevailing in the contest, shall make up the state convention. The number present of those entitled to participate in any convention shall cast the entire vote to which the county is entitled in the convention and it shall require a majority vote to nominate any candidate for office.

    All nominations made at state conventions shall be certified within fifteen days thereafter by the chairman and the secretary of the convention to the Secretary of State who shall certify them to the clerk of the circuit court county commission of each county concerned. and The names of the persons so nominated shall be printed upon the regular ballot to be voted at the ensuing general election, except that the names of the presidential elector candidates shall not be printed thereon.

    The delegates to any state convention may formulate and promulgate the party platform or declaration of party principles as to them shall seem advisable.

§3-5-23. Certificate nominations; requirements and control; penalties.

    (a) Groups of citizens having no party organization may nominate candidates who are were not already candidates in the last preceding primary election for public office as defined in section two, article one of this chapter otherwise than by conventions or primary elections. In that case, the candidate or candidates, jointly or severally, shall file a nomination certificate in accordance with the provisions of this section and the provisions of section twenty-four of this article.

    (b) The person or persons soliciting or canvassing signatures of duly qualified voters on the certificate or certificates may solicit or canvass duly registered voters residing within the county, district or other political division represented by the office sought but must first obtain from the clerk of the county commission credentials which must be exhibited to each voter canvassed or solicited. which The credentials may be in the following form or effect:

    State of West Virginia, County of ..................., ss:

    This certifies that the holder of this credential is hereby authorized to solicit and canvass duly registered voters residing in .................... (here place the county, district or other political division represented by the office sought) to sign a certificate purporting to nominate ............................ (here place name of candidate heading list on certificate) for the office of ............................. and others, at the general election to be held on ........................., 20......

    Given under my hand and the seal of my office this ................. day of ........................, 20......

         .................................................

         Clerk, county commission of ................... County.

    The clerk of each county commission, upon proper application made as herein provided, shall issue such credentials and shall keep a record thereof.

    (c) The certificate shall be personally signed by duly registered voters, in their own proper handwriting or by their marks duly witnessed, who must be residents within the county, district or other political division represented by the office sought wherein the canvass or solicitation is made by the person or persons duly authorized. The signatures need not all be on one certificate. The number of signatures shall be equal to not less than one percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding general election for the office in the state, district, county or other political division for which the nomination is to be made. In offices elected on a staggered term schedule, the number of signatures shall be equal to not less than one percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding general election for the office term expiring. In no event shall the number of signatures be less than twenty-five. The number of signatures shall be equal to not less than one percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding general election for any statewide, congressional or presidential candidate but in no event shall the number be less than twenty-five. Where two or more nominations may be made for the same office, the total of the votes cast at the last preceding general election for the candidates receiving the highest number of votes on each ticket for the office shall constitute constitutes the entire vote. A signature on a certificate may not be counted unless it be that of a duly registered voter of the county, district or other political division represented by the office sought wherein the certificate was presented.

    (d) The certificates shall state the name and residence of each of the candidates; that he or she is legally qualified to hold the office; that the subscribers are legally qualified and duly registered as voters and desire to have the candidates placed on the ballot; and may designate, by not more than five words, a brief name of the party which the candidates represent and may adopt a device or emblem to be printed on the official ballot. All candidates nominated by the signing of the certificates shall have their names placed on the official ballot as candidates as if otherwise nominated under the provisions of this chapter.

    The Secretary of State shall prescribe the form and content of the nomination certificates to be used for soliciting signatures.

    Offices to be filled by the voters of more than one county shall use separate petition forms for the signatures of qualified voters for each county.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the contrary, a duly registered voter may sign the certificate provided in this section and may vote for candidates of his or her choosing in the corresponding primary election.

    (e) The Secretary of State, or the clerk of the county commission, as the case may be, may investigate the validity of the certificates and the signatures thereon. If, upon investigation, there is doubt as to the legitimacy and the validity of certificate, the Secretary of State may ask the Attorney General of the state or the clerk of the county commission may ask the prosecuting attorney of the county to institute a quo warranto proceeding against the nominee by certificate to determine his or her right to the nomination to public office. and Upon request, being made, the Attorney General or prosecuting attorney shall institute the quo warranto proceeding. The clerk of the county commission shall, at the request of the Secretary of State or the clerk of the circuit court, compare the information from any certificate to the county voter registration records. in order to assist in determining the validity of any certificates.

    (f) In addition to penalties prescribed elsewhere for violation of this chapter, any a person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not more than $1,000, or confined in jail not more than one year, or both fined and imprisoned: Provided, That a criminal penalty may not be imposed upon anyone who signs a nomination certificate and votes in the primary election held after the date the certificate was signed.

§3-5-24. Filing of nomination certificates; time.

    (a) All certificates nominating candidates for the House of Delegates, State Senate, State Executive Committee or circuit court judge and any other office or political position to be filled by the voters of more than one county shall file a certificate of announcement with the Secretary Of State office under the preceding section shall be filed, in the case of a candidate to be voted for by the voters of the entire state or by any subdivision of the state other than a single county, with the Secretary of State, and in the case of all candidates for county and magisterial district offices, including all offices to be filled by the voters of a single county, with the clerk of the county commission, not later than August 1 preceding the general election.

    (b) Each candidate shall pay the filing fee required by section eight of this article at the time of the filing of the nomination certificate. If any nomination certificate is not timely filed or if the filing fee is not timely paid, the certificate may not be received by the Secretary of State, or by the clerk of the county commission, as the case may be.

ARTICLE 6. CONDUCT AND ADMINISTRATION OF ELECTIONS

§3-6-4a. Filing requirements for write-in candidates.

    Any eligible person who seeks to be elected by write-in votes to an office, except delegate to national convention, which is to be filled in a primary, general or special election held under the provisions of this chapter, shall file a write-in candidate's certificate of announcement as provided in this section. No certificate of announcement may be accepted and no person may be certified as a write-in candidate for a political party nomination for any office or for election as delegate to national convention.

    (a) The write-in candidate's certificate of announcement shall be in a form prescribed by the Secretary of State on which the candidate shall make a sworn statement before a notary public or other officer authorized to give oaths containing the following information:

    (1) The name of the office sought and the district and division, if any;

    (2) The legal name of the candidate and the first and last name by which the candidate may be identified in seeking the office;

    (3) The specific address designating the location at which the candidate resides at the time of filing, including number and street or rural route and box number and city, state and zip code;

    (4) A statement that the person filing the certificate of announcement is a candidate for the office in good faith; and

    (5) The words "subscribed and sworn to before me this ______ day of _____________, ____" and a space for the signature of the officer giving the oath.

    (b) The certificate of announcement shall be filed with the filing officer for the political division of the office as prescribed in section seven, article five of this chapter.

    (c) The certificate of announcement shall be filed with and received by the proper filing officer as follows:

    (1) Except as provided in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection, the certificate of announcement for any office shall be received no later than the close of business on the forty-second forty-ninth day before the election at which the office is to be filled;

    (2) When a vacancy occurs in the nomination of candidates for an office on the ballot resulting from the death of the nominee or from the disqualification or removal of a nominee from the ballot by a court of competent jurisdiction not earlier than the twenty-first day nor later than the fifth day before the general election, the certificate shall be received no later than the close of business on the fifth day before the election or the close of business on the day following the occurrence of the vacancy, whichever is later;

    (3) When a vacancy occurs in an elective office which would not otherwise appear on the ballot in the election but which creates an unexpired term of one or more years which, according to the provisions of this chapter, is to be filled by election in the next ensuing election and the vacancy occurs no earlier than the twenty-first day and no later than the fifth day before the general election, the certificate shall be received no later than the close of business on the fifth day before the election or the close of business on the day following the occurrence of the vacancy, whichever is later.

    (d) Any eligible person who files a completed write-in candidate's certificate of announcement with the proper filing officer within the required time shall be certified by that filing officer as an official write-in candidate:

    (1) The Secretary of State shall, immediately following the filing deadline, post the names of all official write-in candidates for offices on the ballot in more than one county and certify the name of each official write-in candidate to the clerks of the county commissions of the appropriate counties.

    (2) The clerk of the county commission shall, immediately following the filing deadline, post the names of all official write-in candidates for offices on the ballot in one county and certify and deliver to the election officials of the appropriate precincts the names of all official write-in candidates and the office sought by each for statewide, district and county offices on the ballot in the precinct for which valid write-in votes will be counted. and The names of the write-in candidates shall be posted at the office where absentee voting is conducted and at the precincts in accordance with section twenty, article one of this chapter.

ARTICLE 8. REGULATION AND CONTROL OF ELECTIONS.

§3-8-1a. Definitions.

    As used in this article, the following terms have the following definitions:

    (1) “Ballot issue” means a constitutional amendment, special levy, bond issue, local option referendum, municipal charter or revision, an increase or decrease of corporate limits or any other question that is placed before the voters for a binding decision.

    (2) “Broadcast, cable or satellite communication” means a communication that is publicly distributed by a television station, radio station, cable television system or satellite system.

    (3) “Candidate” means an individual who:

    (A) Has filed a certificate of announcement under section seven, article five of this chapter or a municipal charter;

    (B) Has filed a declaration of candidacy under section twenty-three, article five of this chapter;

    (C) Has been named to fill a vacancy on a ballot; or

    (D) Has declared a write-in candidacy or otherwise publicly declared his or her intention to seek nomination or election for any state, district, county or municipal office or party office to be filled at any primary, general or special election.

    (4) “Candidate’s committee” means a political committee established with the approval of or in cooperation with a candidate or a prospective candidate to explore the possibilities of seeking a particular office or to support or aid his or her nomination or election to an office in an election cycle. If a candidate directs or influences the activities of more than one active committee in a current campaign, those committees shall be considered one committee for the purpose of contribution limits.

    (5) “Clearly identified” means that the name, nickname, photograph, drawing or other depiction of the candidate appears or the identity of the candidate is otherwise apparent through an unambiguous reference, such as “the Governor,” “your Senator” or “the incumbent” or through an unambiguous reference to his or her status as a candidate, such as “the Democratic candidate for Governor” or “the Republican candidate for Supreme Court of Appeals.”

    (6) “Charitable Organization” means a person who is or holds itself out to be a benevolent, educational, philanthropic, humane, patriotic, religious or eleemosynary organization, or any person who solicits or obtains contributions solicited from the public for charitable purposes, or any person who in any manner employs any appeal for contributions which may be reasonably interpreted to suggest that any part of such contributions will be used for charitable purposes. A chapter, branch, area, office or similar affiliates or any person soliciting contributions within the state for a charitable organization which has its principal place of business outside the state is a charitable organization for the purposes of this article. 

    (6)(7) “Contribution” means a gift, subscription, loan, assessment, payment for services, dues, advance, donation, pledge, contract, agreement, forbearance or promise of money or other tangible thing of value, whether conditional or legally enforceable, or a transfer of money or other tangible thing of value to a person, made for the purpose of influencing the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate. An offer or tender of a contribution is not a contribution if expressly and unconditionally rejected or returned. A contribution does not include volunteer personal services provided without compensation: Provided, That a nonmonetary contribution is to be considered at fair market value for reporting requirements and contribution limitations.

    (7)(8) “Corporate political action committee” means a political action committee that is a separate segregated fund of a corporation that may only accept contributions from its restricted group as outlined by the rules of the State Election Commission.

    (8)(9) “Direct costs of purchasing, producing or disseminating electioneering communications” means:

    (A) Costs charged by a vendor, including, but not limited to, studio rental time, compensation of staff and employees, costs of video or audio recording media and talent, material and printing costs and postage; or

    (B) The cost of air time on broadcast, cable or satellite radio and television stations, the costs of disseminating printed materials, studio time, use of facilities and the charges for a broker to purchase air time.

    (9)(10) “Disclosure date” means either of the following:

    (A) The first date during any calendar year on which any electioneering communication is disseminated after the person paying for the communication has spent a total of $5,000 or more for the direct costs of purchasing, producing or disseminating electioneering communications; or

    (B) Any other date during that calendar year after any previous disclosure date on which the person has made additional expenditures totaling $5,000 or more for the direct costs of purchasing, producing or disseminating electioneering communications.

    (10)(11) “Election” means any primary, general or special election conducted under the provisions of this code or under the charter of any municipality at which the voters nominate or elect candidates for public office. For purposes of this article, each primary, general, special or local election constitutes a separate election. This definition is not intended to modify or abrogate the definition of the term “nomination” as used in this article.

    (11)(12) (A) “Electioneering communication” means any paid communication made by broadcast, cable or satellite signal, or published in any newspaper, magazine or other periodical that:

    (i) Refers to a clearly identified candidate for Governor, Secretary of State, Attorney General, Treasurer, Auditor, Commissioner of Agriculture, Supreme Court of Appeals or the Legislature;

    (ii) Is publicly disseminated within:

    (I) Thirty days before a primary election at which the nomination for office sought by the candidate is to be determined; or

    (II) Sixty days before a general or special election at which the office sought by the candidate is to be filled; and

    (iii) Is targeted to the relevant electorate: Provided, That for purposes of the general election of 2008 the amendments to this article are effective October 1, 2008.

    (B) “Electioneering communication” does not include:

    (i) A news story, commentary or editorial disseminated through the facilities of any broadcast, cable or satellite television or radio station, newspaper, magazine or other periodical publication not owned or controlled by a political party, political committee or candidate: Provided, That a news story disseminated through a medium owned or controlled by a political party, political committee or candidate is nevertheless exempt if the news is:

    (I) A bona fide news account communicated in a publication of general circulation or through a licensed broadcasting facility; and

    (II) Is part of a general pattern of campaign-related news that gives reasonably equal coverage to all opposing candidates in the circulation, viewing or listening area;

    (ii) Activity by a candidate committee, party executive committee or caucus committee, or a political action committee that is required to be reported to the State Election Commission or the Secretary of State as an expenditure pursuant to section five of this article or the rules of the State Election Commission or the Secretary of State promulgated pursuant to such provision: Provided, That independent expenditures by a party executive committee or caucus committee or a political action committee required to be reported pursuant to subsection (b), section two of this article are not exempt from the reporting requirements of this section;

    (iii) A candidate debate or forum conducted pursuant to rules adopted by the State Election Commission or the Secretary of State or a communication promoting that debate or forum made by or on behalf of its sponsor;

    (iv) A communication paid for by any organization operating under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;

    (v) A communication made while the Legislature is in session which, incidental to promoting or opposing a specific piece of legislation pending before the Legislature, urges the audience to communicate with a member or members of the Legislature concerning that piece of legislation;

    (vi) A statement or depiction by a membership organization, in existence prior to the date on which the individual named or depicted became a candidate, made in a newsletter or other communication distributed only to bona fide members of that organization;

    (vii) A communication made solely for the purpose of attracting public attention to a product or service offered for sale by a candidate or by a business owned or operated by a candidate which does not mention an election, the office sought by the candidate or his or her status as a candidate; or

    (viii) A communication, such as a voter’s guide, which refers to all of the candidates for one or more offices, which contains no appearance of endorsement for or opposition to the nomination or election of any candidate and which is intended as nonpartisan public education focused on issues and voting history.

    (12)(13) “Expressly advocating” means any communication that:

    (A) Uses phrases such as “vote for the Governor,” “re-elect your Senator,” “support the Democratic nominee for Supreme Court,” “cast your ballot for the Republican challenger for House of Delegates,” “Smith for House,” “Bob Smith in ‘04,” “vote Pro-Life” or “vote Pro-Choice” accompanied by a listing of clearly identified candidates described as Pro-Life or Pro-Choice, “vote against Old Hickory,” “defeat” accompanied by a picture of one or more candidates, “reject the incumbent”;

    (B) Communications of campaign slogans or individual words, that can have no other reasonable meaning than to urge the election or defeat of one or more clearly identified candidates, such as posters, bumper stickers, advertisements, etc., which say “Smith’s the One,” “Jones ‘06,” “Baker”, etc; or

    (C) Is susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate.

    (13)(14) “Financial agent” means any individual acting for and by himself or herself, or any two or more individuals acting together or cooperating in a financial way to aid or take part in the nomination or election of any candidate for public office, or to aid or promote the success or defeat of any political party at any election.

    (14)(15) “Fund-raising event” means an event such as a dinner, reception, testimonial, cocktail party, auction or similar affair through which contributions are solicited or received by such means as the purchase of a ticket, payment of an attendance fee or by the purchase of goods or services.

    (17)(16) “In-kind contribution” means the donation of goods, services, property or other thing of value other than money. The basis for arriving at the dollar value of an in-kind contribution is as follows:

    (A) New items are valued at retail value;

    (B) Used items are valued at fair market value; and

    (C) Services rendered are valued at the actual cost of service per hour.

    For goods or services provided or rendered for an expenditure less than the dollar value as determined by this section, the difference between the calculated dollar value and the actual cost shall be deemed an in-kind contribution. The actual cost shall be reported as an expenditure of the campaign of committee as required under article eight of this chapter. In-kind services do not include nonprofessional campaign-related services voluntarily rendered for which no compensation is asked or given.

    (15)(17) “Independent expenditure” means an expenditure by a person:

    (A) Expressly advocating the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate; and

    (B) That is not made in concert or cooperation with or at the request or suggestion of such candidate, his or her agents, the candidate’s authorized political committee or a political party committee or its agents.

    Supporting or opposing the election of a clearly identified candidate includes supporting or opposing the candidates of a political party. An expenditure which does not meet the criteria for an independent expenditure is considered a contribution.

    (16)(18) “Membership organization” means a group that grants bona fide rights and privileges, such as the right to vote, to elect officers or directors and the ability to hold office, to its members and which uses a majority of its membership dues for purposes other than political purposes. “Membership organization” does not include organizations that grant membership upon receiving a contribution.

    (17)(19) “Name” means the full first name, middle name or initial, if any, and full legal last name of an individual and the full name of any association, corporation, committee or other organization of individuals, making the identity of any person who makes a contribution apparent by unambiguous reference.

    (18)(20) “Person” means an individual, corporation, partnership, committee, association and any other organization or group of individuals.

    (19)(21) “Political action committee” means a committee organized by one or more persons for the purpose of supporting or opposing the nomination or election of one or more candidates. The following are types of political action committees:

    (A) A corporate political action committee, as that term is defined by subdivision (8) of this section;

    (B) A membership organization, as that term is defined by subdivision(18) of this section;

    (C) An unaffiliated political action committee, as that term is defined by subdivision (29) of this section.

    (20)(22) “Political committee” means any candidate committee, political action committee or political party committee.

    (21)(23) “Political party” means a political party as that term is defined by section eight, article one of this chapter or any committee established, financed, maintained or controlled by the party, including any subsidiary, branch or local unit thereof and including national or regional affiliates of the party.

    (22)(24) “Political party committee” means a committee established by a political party or political party caucus for the purposes of engaging in the influencing of the election, nomination or defeat of a candidate in any election.

    (23)(25) “Political purposes” means supporting or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of one or more candidates or the passage or defeat of a ballot issue, supporting the retirement of the debt of a candidate or political committee or the administration or activities of an established political party or an organization which has declared itself a political party and determining the advisability of becoming a candidate under the precandidacy financing provisions of this chapter.

    (24)(26) “Targeted to the relevant electorate” means a communication which refers to a clearly identified candidate for statewide office or the Legislature and which can be received by one hundred forty thousand or more individuals in the state in the case of a candidacy for statewide office, eight thousand two hundred twenty or more individuals in the district in the case of a candidacy for the State Senate and two thousand four hundred ten or more individuals in the district in the case of a candidacy for the House of Delegates.

    (25)(27) “Two-year election cycle” means the twenty-four month period that begins the day after a general election and ends on the day of the subsequent general election.

    (26)(28) “Unaffiliated political action committee” means a political action committee that is not affiliated with a corporation or a membership organization.

§3-8-5a. Information required in financial statement.

    (a) Each financial statement required by the provisions of this article, other than a disclosure of electioneering communications pursuant to section two-b of this article, shall contain only the following information:
    
(1) The name, residence and mailing address and telephone number of each candidate, financial agent, treasurer or person and the name, address and telephone number of each association, organization or committee filing a financial statement.
    
(2) The balance of cash and any other sum of money on hand at the beginning and the end of the period covered by the financial statement.
    
(3) The name of any person making a contribution and the amount of the contribution. If the total contributions of any one person in any one election cycle amount to more than $250, the residence and mailing address of the contributor and, if the contributor is an individual, his or her major business affiliation and occupation. shall also be reported. A contribution totaling more than $50 of currency of the United States or currency of any foreign country by any one contributor is prohibited and a violation of section five-d of this article. The statement on which contributions are required to be reported by this subdivision may not distinguish between contributions made by individuals and contributions made by partnerships, firms, associations, committees, organizations or groups.
    
(4) The total amount of contributions received during the period covered by the financial statement.
    
(5) The name, residence and mailing address of any individual or the name and mailing address of each lending institution making a loan or of the spouse cosigning a loan, as appropriate, the amount of any loan received, the date and terms of the loan, including the interest and repayment schedule and a copy of the loan agreement.
    
(6) The name, residence and mailing address of any individual or the name and mailing address of each partnership, firm, association, committee, organization or group having previously made or cosigned a loan for which payment is made or a balance is outstanding at the end of the period, together with the amount of repayment on the loan made during the period and the balance at the end of the period.
    
(7) The total outstanding balance of all loans at the end of the period.
    
(8) The name, residence and mailing address of any person to whom each expenditure was made or liability incurred, including expenditures made on behalf of a candidate or political committee that otherwise are not made directly by the candidate or political committee, together with the amount and purpose of each expenditure or liability incurred and the date of each transaction.
    
(9) The total expenditure for the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate or any person supporting, aiding or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of any a candidate in whose behalf an expenditure was made or a contribution was given for the primary or other election.
    
(10) The total amount of expenditures made during the period covered by the financial statement.
    
(b) Any unexpended balance at the time of making the financial statements herein provided for shall be properly accounted for in that financial statement and shall appear as a beginning balance in the next financial statement.
    
(c) Each financial statement required by this section shall contain a separate section setting forth the following information for each fund-raising event held during the period covered by the financial statement:
    
(1) The type of event, date held and address and name, if any, of the place where the event was held.
    
(2) All of the information required by subdivision (3), subsection (a) of this section.
    
(3) The total of all moneys received at the fund-raising event.
    
(4) The expenditures incident to the fund-raising event.
    
(5) The net receipts of the fund-raising event.
    
(d) When any lump sum payment is made to any an advertising agency or other disbursing person who does not file a report of detailed accounts and verified financial statements as required in this section, such lump sum expenditures shall be accounted for in the same manner as provided for herein.
    
(e) Any contribution or expenditure made by or on behalf of a candidate for public office to any other another candidate or committee for a candidate for any a public office in the same election shall be accounted for in accordance with the provisions of this section.
    
(f) No person may make any contribution except from his, her or its own funds unless such person discloses in writing to the person required to report under this section the name, residence, mailing address, major business affiliation and occupation of the person which who furnished the funds to the contributor. All such disclosures shall be included in the statement required by this section.
    
(g) Any firm, association, committee or fund permitted by section eight of this article to be a political committee shall disclose on the financial statement its corporate or other affiliation.
    
(h) No contribution may be made, directly or indirectly, in a fictitious name, anonymously or by one person through an agent, relative or other person so as to conceal the identity of the source of the contribution or in any other manner so as to effect concealment of the contributor's identity.
    
(i) No person may accept any a contribution for the purpose of influencing the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate or for the passage or defeat of any a ballot issue unless the identity of the donor and the amount of the contribution is known and reported.
    
(j) When any a person receives an anonymous contribution which cannot be returned because the donor cannot be identified, that contribution shall be donated to the General Revenue Fund of the state. Any An anonymous contribution shall be recorded as such on the candidate's financial statement but may not be expended for election expenses. At the time of filing, the financial statement shall include a statement of distribution of anonymous contributions which total amount shall equal the total of all anonymous contributions received during the period.
    
(k) Any membership organization which raises funds for political purposes by payroll deduction, assessing them as part of its membership dues or as a separate assessment, may report the amount raised as follows:
    
(1) If the portion of dues or assessments designated for political purposes equals twenty-five dollars $25 or less per member over the course of a calendar year, the total amount raised for political purposes through membership dues or assessments during the period is reported by showing the amount required to be paid by each member and the number of members.
    
(2) If the total payroll deduction for political purposes of each participating member equals $25 or less over the course of a calendar or fiscal year, as specified by the organization, the organization shall report the total amount received for political purposes through payroll deductions during the reporting period and, to the maximum extent possible, the amount of each yearly payroll deduction contribution level and the number of members contributing at each such specified level. The membership organization shall maintain records of the name and yearly payroll deduction amounts of each participating member.
    
(3) If any member contributes to the membership organization through individual voluntary contributions by means other than payroll deduction, membership dues, or assessments as provided in this subsection, the reporting requirements of subdivision (3), subsection (a) of this section shall apply. Funds raised for political purposes must be segregated from the funds for other purposes and listed in its report.
    
(l) Notwithstanding the provisions of section five of this article or of the provisions of this section to the contrary, an alternative reporting procedure may be followed by a political party committee in filing financial reports for fund-raising events if the total profit does not exceed $5,000 per year. A political party committee may report gross receipts for the sale of food, beverages, services, novelty items, raffle tickets or memorabilia except that any receipt of more than $50 from an individual or organization shall be reported as a contribution. A political party committee using this alternative method of reporting shall report:
    
(i)(1) The name of the committee;
    
(ii)(2) The type of fund-raising activity undertaken;
    
(iii)(3) The location where the activity occurred;
    
(iv)(4) The date of the fundraiser;
    
(v)(5) The name of any individual who contributed more than $50 worth of items to be sold;
    
(vi)(6) The name and amount received from any person or organization purchasing more than $50 worth of food, beverages, services, novelty items, raffle tickets or memorabilia;
    
(vii)(7) The gross receipts of the fundraiser; and
    
(viii)(8) The date, amount, purpose and name and address of each person or organization from whom items with a fair market value of more than $50 were purchased for resale.

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 shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, on upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $500, or confined in the county 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 designees of the Secretary of State's office or full-time employees designees of the respective county offices of the county clerk or the county prosecutor or international observers who have registered as such and been approved by the Secretary of State may enter or otherwise disturb the polling place.

CHAPTER 8. MUNICIPAL CORPORATIONS.

ARTICLE 5. ELECTION, APPOINTMENT, QUALIFICATION AND COMPENSATION OF OFFICERS; GENERAL PROVISIONS RELATING TO OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES; ELECTIONS AND PETITIONS GENERALLY; CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

§8-5-14. Municipal executive committees; election expenses; applicability of state primary and general election laws; election days and hours; notice.

    (a) Except as otherwise provided by charter provision or ordinance or this code, municipal executive committees shall exercise similar functions and be governed by the same laws in regard to municipal primary elections and regular municipal elections as county executive committees in regard to county-state primary and general elections, so far as the same may be applicable.

    (b) All expenses of conducting municipal primary elections and regular municipal elections shall be paid by the municipality.

    (c) The provisions of chapter three of this code, referring more particularly to primary elections and general elections, shall, so far as the same can be applied and so far as not otherwise provided by charter provision or ordinance, govern the conduct of municipal primary elections and regular municipal elections, as the case may be.

    (d) No municipal primary election shall be held on the day of the county-state primary election except as provided in section five of this article nor less than twenty-five days immediately preceding the regular municipal election unless a shorter period of time is established by charter or ordinance.

    (e) A municipality may, by charter provision or ordinance, set times for the polls to be open on election day which differ from the times provided in section thirty-one, article one, chapter three of this code so long as the municipal election officials provide written notice of the different hours through publication in a qualified newspaper in the manner set out in section ten, article five, chapter three of this code, not less than twenty-five days prior to the election day.

CHAPTER 59.

FEES, ALLOWANCES AND COSTS;

NEWSPAPERS; LEGAL ADVERTISEMENTS.

ARTICLE 3. NEWSPAPERS AND LEGAL ADVERTISEMENTS.

§59-3-3. Rates for legal advertisements; computation; filing affidavits with Secretary of State.

    (a) The rates which a publisher or proprietor of a qualified newspaper in West Virginia may charge and receive for a single or first publication of any legal advertisement set solid depends on the bona fide circulation of the newspaper, as follows:

    (1) Four cents per word if the qualified newspaper has a bona fide circulation of less than one thousand, except as provided in subdivision (1), subsection (a) of this section;

    (2) 11 1/2 ¢ per word if the qualified newspaper has a bona fide circulation of one thousand to five thousand;

    (3) Nine cents 12¢ per word if the qualified newspaper has a bona fide circulation of more than five thousand but less than ten thousand;

    (4) Ten cents 13¢ per word if the qualified newspaper has a bona fide circulation of more than ten thousand and less than thirty thousand; or

    (5) Eleven cents 14¢ per word if the qualified newspaper has a bona fide circulation of thirty thousand or more. Provided, That on the first day of July in the year two thousand three and on the first day of July in the year two thousand four and on the first day of July in the year two thousand five the allowable rate per word in each of the classifications of qualified newspapers with reference to circulation as set forth in this subsection shall, for each classification, increase one cent per word over the prior year's rate.

    (b) In computing the number of words in a legal advertisement, not set solid, the basis is the size of type in which legal advertising is set by the qualified newspaper making the publication and shall be is computed at the legal rate as though the matter were solid type, that is to say, on the basis of eighty-four words to the single column inch in six point type and fifty-four words to the single column inch in eight point type and any other size type in proportion.

    (c) In determining the cost of a legal advertisement which is to appear more than once in the same qualified newspaper, the cost for the first publication shall be is computed as specified in subsections (a) and (b) of this section and the cost of the second and each subsequent publication shall be is seventy-five percent of the cost of the first publication computed as specified in subsections (a) and (b) of this section.

    (d) The average bona fide circulation stated by each qualified newspaper in the statement filed by the newspaper with the United States post office department in October of each year shall control the rate of circulation classification of the qualified newspaper for the period commencing the first day of July of each year until the last day of June of the following year. On or before November March 1 of each year, the publisher or proprietor of each newspaper desiring to publish any legal advertisement during the ensuing one year time period commencing July 1, shall file with the Secretary of State an affidavit stating the average bona fide circulation of the newspaper as listed in the statement of Ownership, Management, and Circulation filed by the newspaper with the United States Postal Service in October of each year during the preceding twelve month time period ending the thirtieth day of September of each year and shall set forth sufficient facts in the affidavit to show whether the newspaper is a qualified newspaper. The average bona fide circulation stated in the affidavit by each qualified newspaper shall control controls the rate circulation classification for the ensuing twelve-month period commencing July 1. Any qualified newspaper for which the required affidavit is not filed on or before the first day of March of any calendar year shall be which does not file the required affidavit on or before March 1 of any calendar year is conclusively presumed to have a bona fide circulation of less than one thousand for the ensuing twelve-month period commencing July 1. of such year a bona fide circulation of less than one thousand. At the time a publisher or proprietor of a qualified newspaper files an affidavit with the Secretary of State, as required by this subsection, At the same time as filing the affidavit with the Secretary of State, the publisher or proprietor shall also notify the clerk of the county commission and the board of education of the county in which the qualified newspaper is published of the circulation classification of the qualified newspaper and of the and applicable rate for publishing legal advertisements in the qualified newspaper during the ensuing twelve-month period commencing July 1. If the qualified newspaper is published in a municipality, the publisher or proprietor shall at the same time also furnish the same notification to the clerk or recorder of the municipality.

    (e) The rate charged for political advertising appearing in a newspaper at any time or times during the time period commencing thirty days prior to any primary or general election and ending the day following the election may not exceed one hundred five percent of the lowest commercial rate charged by the newspaper in which the political advertising appears.

    (f) Nothing contained in this section prohibits qualified newspapers from charging less than the specified rates for any legal advertisement or from charging usual and customary rates for notarizing and producing additional copies of the affidavits and statements required in section four of this article.

 



    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify inconsistences in the code and to eliminate obsolete and outdated language.


    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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