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:
§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 question.
(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 of state.
(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 belief.
(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 education ballots.
(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 Clerks".
(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 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 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
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 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 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 the drawings.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify ballot instructions for the election of nonpartisan county school board members.

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