H. B. 2745
(By Delegates Manuel, Doyle, Tabb and Fragale)
[Introduced January 28, 2003; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections thirteen and thirteen-a,
article five, chapter three of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to
ballot instructions for county board of education candidates.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections thirteen and thirteen-a of the code of West
Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be
amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND NOMINATING PROCEDURES.
§3-5-13. Form and contents of ballots and ballot labels.
The face of every primary election ballot shall conform as
nearly as practicable to that used at the general election.
(a) The heading of every ballot is to be printed in display
type. The heading of the political party ballot is to contain a
ballot title, the name of the county, the state, the words "Primary Election" and the month, day and year of the election. The ballot
heading and title of the political party ballots is to contain the
words "Official Ballot of the (Name) Party" and the official symbol
of the political party may be included in the heading. The ballot
title of any separate paper ballot or portion of any electronic or
voting machine ballot for the board of education is to contain the
words "Nonpartisan Ballot
of Election of Members of for the
______________ County Board of Education" with the month, day and
year of the election, and an explanation not in display type. "You
may vote for up to THREE candidates. You may elect up to ONE from
each of these districts: . . . ., . . . ., and . . . .and up to TWO
(including write-ins) from each of these districts: . . . , . . .
, and . . . . Remember, overall, vote for not more than THREE."
Districts where no candidates may be elected may not be listed on
the ballot, nor shall candidates from these districts be listed.
The word "TWO" replaces "THREE" in years when two members are to be
elected. The districts for which less than two candidates may be
elected and the number of available seats are to be specified and
the names of the candidates are to be printed without reference to
political party affiliation and without designation as to a
particular term of office. Any other ballot or portion of a ballot
on a question is to have a heading which clearly states the purpose
of the election according to the statutory requirements for that
(b)(1) For paper ballots, the heading of the ballot is to be
separated from the rest of the ballot by heavy lines and the
offices shall be arranged in columns with the following headings,
from left to right across the ballot: "National Ticket", "State
Ticket", "County Ticket" and, in a presidential election year,
"National Convention" or, in a nonpresidential election year,
"District Ticket". The columns are to be separated by heavy lines.
Within the columns, the offices are to be arranged in the order
prescribed in section thirteen-a of this article.
(2) For voting machines, electronic voting devices and any
ballot tabulated by electronic means, the offices are to appear in
the same sequence as prescribed in section thirteen-a of this
article and under the same headings as prescribed in subsection (a)
of this section. The number of pages, columns or rows, where
applicable, may be modified to meet the limitations of ballot size
and composition requirements subject to approval by the secretary
(3) The title of each office is to be separated from preceding
offices or candidates by a line and is to be printed in bold type
no smaller than eight point. Below the office is to be printed the
number of the district, if any, the number of the division, if any,
and the words "Vote for ________" with the number to be nominated
or elected or "Vote For Not More Than ________" in multicandidate
elections. For offices in which there are limitations relating to the number of candidates which may be nominated, elected or
appointed to or hold office at one time from a political
subdivision within the district or county in which they are
elected, there is to be a clear explanation of the limitation, as
prescribed by the secretary of state, printed in bold type
immediately preceding the names of the candidates for those offices
on the ballot in every voting system. For counties in which the
number of county commissioners exceeds three and the total number
of members of the county commission is equal to the number of
magisterial districts within the county, the office of county
commission is to be listed separately for each district to be
filled with the name of the magisterial district and the words
"Vote for One" printed below the name of the office.
(c) The location for indicating the voter's choices on the
ballot is to be clearly shown. For paper ballots, other than those
tabulated electronically, the official primary ballot is to contain
a square formed in dark lines at the left of each name on the
ballot, arranged in a perpendicular column of squares before each
column of names.
(d)(1) The name of every candidate certified by the secretary
of state or the board of ballot commissioners is to be printed in
capital letters in no smaller than eight-point type on the ballot
for the appropriate precincts. Subject to the rules promulgated by
the secretary of state, the name of each candidate is to appear in the form set out by the candidate on the certificate of
announcement, but in no case may the name misrepresent the identity
of the candidate nor may the name include any title, position,
rank, degree or nickname implying or inferring any status as a
member of a class or group or affiliation with any system of
(2) The city of residence of every candidate, the state of
residence of every candidate residing outside the state, the county
of residence of every candidate for an office on the ballot in more
than one county and the magisterial district of residence of every
candidate for an office subject to magisterial district limitations
are to be printed in lower case letters beneath the names of the
candidates, except that city shall be omitted from board of
(3) The arrangement of names within each office must be
determined as prescribed in section thirteen-a of this article.
(4) If the number of candidates for an office exceeds the
space available on a column or ballot label page and requires that
candidates for a single office be separated, to the extent
possible, the number of candidates for the office on separate
columns or pages are to be nearly equal and clear instructions
given the voter that the candidates for the office are continued on
the following column or page.
(e) When an insufficient number of candidates has filed for a party to make the number of nominations allowed for the office or
for the voters to elect sufficient members to the board of
education or to executive committees, the vacant positions on the
ballot shall be filled with the words "No Candidate Filed":
Provided, That in paper ballot systems which allow for write-ins to
be made directly on the ballot, a blank line shall be placed in any
vacant position in the office of board of education or for election
to any party executive committee. A line shall separate each
candidate from every other candidate for the same office.
Notwithstanding any other provision of this code, if there are
multiple vacant positions on a ballot for one office, the multiple
vacant positions which would otherwise be filled with the words "No
Candidate Filed" may be replaced with a brief detailed description,
approved by the secretary of state, indicating that there are no
candidates listed for the vacant positions.
(f) In presidential election years, the words "For election in
accordance with the plan adopted by the party and filed with the
secretary of state" is to be printed following the names of all
candidates for delegate to national convention.
(g) All paper ballots are to be printed in black ink on paper
sufficiently thick so that the printing or marking cannot be
discernible from the back. Ballot cards and paper for printing
ballots using electronically sensible ink are to meet minimum
requirements of the tabulating systems.
(h) Electronically tabulated ballots and ballot cards are to
contain perforated tabs at the top of the ballots and are to be
printed with unique sequential numbers from one to the highest
number representing the total number of ballots or ballot cards
printed. On paper ballots, the ballot is to be bordered by a solid
line at least one sixteenth of an inch wide, and the ballot is to
be trimmed to within one-half inch of that border.
(i) On the back of every official ballot or ballot card the
words "Official Ballot" with the name of the county and the date of
the election are to be printed. Beneath the date of the election
there are to be two blank lines followed by the words "Poll
(j) Absent voters' ballots are to be in all respects like
other official ballots except that three blank lines are to be
printed on the back of the ballot or ballot card in the lower left
corner with the words "Ballot Commissioners" printed underneath.
(k) The face of sample paper ballots and sample ballot labels
are to be like other official ballots or ballot labels except that
the word "sample" is to be prominently printed across the front of
the ballot in a manner that ensures the names of candidates are not
obscured and the word "sample" may be printed in red ink. No
printing may be placed on the back of the sample.
§3-5-13a. Order of offices and candidates on the ballot; uniform
(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
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 judge in multi-county districts, any other
multi-county office, state executive committee
COUNTY TICKET: Circuit 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 multi-county districts, delegate
district executive committee in multi-county districts
NATIONAL CONVENTION: Delegate to the national convention -- at-
large, delegate to the national convention -- congressional
DISTRICT TICKET: 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
(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 circuit court in each
county. Notice of the drawing shall be given on the form for the
certificate of announcement, and no further notice shall be
required. The clerk of the circuit court 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 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: Provided, however,
That for board of education, candidates shall be grouped by
district, where the order of districts and the order of candidates
within each district are determined by lot.
(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.
(4) A candidate or the candidate's representative may attend
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify ballot
instructions for the election of nonpartisan county school board
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would