Senate Bill No. 444
(By Senator Bailey)
[Introduced February 19, 1996; referred to the Committee
on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact section seven, article five, chapter
three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to changing the
dates of filing for a primary election.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seven, article five, chapter three of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as
amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND NOMINATING PROCEDURES.
§3-5-7. Filing announcements of candidacies; requirements;
withdrawal of candidates when section applicable.
Any person who is eligible to hold 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
as a candidate for the nomination or election to such office.
(a) The certificate of announcement shall be filed as
(1) With the secretary of state, if it be an office or
political position to be filled by the voters of more than one
(2) With the clerk of the circuit court, if it be for an
office to be filled by the voters of a single county or of a
subdivision less than a county;
(3) With the recorder or city clerk if it be for an office
to be filled by the voters of a municipality.
The certificate of announcement shall be filed with the
proper officer not earlier than the
second third Monday in
January next preceding the primary election day, and not later
than the first Saturday of February fourth Friday of 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
(b) The 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 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
(6) For partisan elections, the name of the candidate's
political party, and a statement that the candidate is a member of and affiliated with that political party as is evidenced by
the candidate's current registration as a voter affiliated with
that party, and that the candidate 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
(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 _____________, 19____," and a space for the signature of
the officer giving the oath.
The secretary of state or the board of ballot commissioners,
as the case may be, may refuse to certify the candidacy or remove
the certification of the candidacy upon receipt of a certified
copy of the voter's registration record of the candidate
evidencing 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 be 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 shall not be refused certification for this reason.
(c) The certificate of announcement shall be subscribed to
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 said certificate is
guilty of false swearing and shall be punished as set forth in
section three, article nine of this chapter.
(d) 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.
(e) No person shall be a candidate for more than one office
or office division at any election: Provided, That a candidate
for an office may also be a candidate for president of the United
States, for membership on a political party executive committee
or for delegate to a political party national convention.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, nothing shall
prohibit a candidate from jointly running for or jointly holding
the offices of county clerk and circuit clerk in those counties
which operate a joint clerkship system.
(f) Any 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 shall
not be certified by the secretary of state or placed on the
ballot for any office by the board of ballot commissioners.
The provisions of this section shall apply to the primary
election held in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-two and every primary election held thereafter.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to change the dates for
filing for a primary election from the second Monday in January
through the first Saturday in February to the third Monday in
January through the fourth Friday in January.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken
from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language
that would be added.