Senate Bill No. 454

(By Senator Grubb)


[Introduced February 19, 1996; referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

A BILL to amend and reenact section eight, article one, chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, relating to elections and nominating procedures.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section eight, article one, of chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
§3-1-8. Political party defined; parties or groups that may participate`in municipal primary elections.

Any affiliation of voters representing any principle or organization which, at the last preceding general election, polled for its candidate for governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, state supreme court, or commissioner of agriculture, at least one per cent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for that office any one of such state public offices in the state, or any affiliation of voters that register under article two, chapter three of this code at least one percent of the total number of voters voting in the last election for any one of such state public offices, shall be a political party, within the meaning and for the purpose of this chapter: Provided, That notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, the governing body of any municipality may, by ordinance adopted by the affirmative vote of at least three fourths of the members of such governing body by recorded vote, provide that municipal political parties or groups within such municipality that do not meet the requirements of this section for classification as a political party may participate in the primary elections of any such municipality. Any such ordinance shall contain provisions implementing the foregoing proviso, which implementing provisions shall conform as nearly as practicable to any general provisions of law relating to municipal primary elections.

Note: The purpose of this bill is to increase the ability of political parties to obtain ballot access by expanding the scope of the definition of political party.

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