Senate Bill No. 50
(By Senators Facemyer and Smith)
[Introduced January 8, 2003; referred to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend and reenact section seventeen, article one, chapter
three of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred
thirty-one, as amended; to amend and reenact section four,
article five of said chapter; and to amend and reenact section
one, article one, chapter fifty of said code, all relating to
election of magistrates; providing for numbered divisions
within counties having more than one magistrate for election
purposes only beginning with the primary and general elections
to be held in the year two thousand four; and providing for
the nomination or election of a candidate for magistrate
receiving the highest number of votes within a division.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That section seventeen, article one, chapter three of the code
of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended,
be amended and reenacted; that section four, article five of said chapter be amended and reenacted; and that section one, article
one, chapter fifty of said code be amended and reenacted, all to
read as follows:
CHAPTER 3. ELECTIONS.
ARTICLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS AND DEFINITIONS.
§3-1-17. Election of circuit judges; county and district officers;
There shall be elected, at the general election to be held in
the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, and in every eighth
year thereafter, one judge of the circuit court of every judicial
circuit entitled to but one judge, and one judge for each numbered
division of the judicial circuit in those judicial circuits
entitled to two or more circuit judges; and at the general election
to be held in the year one thousand nine hundred ninety-two, and in
every fourth year thereafter, a sheriff, prosecuting attorney,
surveyor of lands and the number of assessors prescribed by law for
the county, and the number of magistrates prescribed by law for the
county: Provided, That there shall be elected at the general
election to be held in the year two thousand four, and in every
fourth year thereafter, one magistrate of every county entitled to
but one magistrate and one magistrate for each numbered division
for magistrates in those counties entitled to two or more
magistrates; and at the general election to be held in the year,
one thousand nine hundred ninety, and in every second year thereafter, a commissioner of the county commission for each
county; and at the general election to be held in the year one
thousand nine hundred ninety-two, and in every sixth year
thereafter, a clerk of the county commission and a clerk of the
circuit court for each county.
ARTICLE 5. PRIMARY ELECTIONS AND NOMINATING PROCEDURES.
§3-5-4. Nomination of candidates in primary elections.
At each primary election, the candidate or candidates of each
political party for all offices to be filled at the ensuing general
election by the voters of the entire state, of each congressional
district, of each state senatorial district, of each delegate
district, of each judicial circuit of West Virginia, of each
county, and of each magisterial district in the state shall be
nominated by the voters of the different political parties, except
that no presidential elector
shall may be nominated at a primary
In primary elections a plurality of the votes cast
is sufficient for the nomination of candidates for office. Where
only one candidate of a political party for any office in a
political division, including party committeemen and delegates to
national conventions, is to be chosen, or where a judicial circuit
has two or more circuit judges and one circuit judge is to be
chosen for each numbered division within the circuit, or where a
county is entitled to two or more magistrates and one magistrate is to be chosen for each numbered division for magistrate in the
county, the candidate receiving the highest number of votes
therefor in the primary election shall must be declared the party
office. Where two or more such candidates
are to be chosen in the primary election, the candidates
constituting the proper number to be so chosen who shall receive
the highest number of votes cast in the political division in which
they are candidates shall must be declared the party nominees and
choices for such the offices, except that: (1) Candidates for the
office of commissioner of the county commission shall must be
nominated and elected in accordance with the provisions of section
ten, article nine of the constitution of the state of West
Virginia; (2) members of county boards of education shall must be
elected at primary elections in accordance with the provisions of
sections five and six of this article; (3) candidates for the House
of Delegates shall must be nominated and elected in accordance with
the residence restrictions provided in section two, article two,
chapter one of this code; and (4) in judicial circuits having
numbered divisions and in counties with numbered divisions for the
office of magistrate, each numbered division shall must be tallied
separately and the candidate in each division receiving a plurality
of the votes cast shall must be declared the party nominee for the
office in that numbered division.
In case of tie votes between candidates for party nominations or elections in primary elections, the choice of the political
shall must be determined by the executive committee of the
party for the political division in which such the persons are
CHAPTER 50. MAGISTRATE COURTS.
ARTICLE 1. COURTS AND OFFICERS.
§50-1-1. Magistrate court created.
There is hereby created in each county of this state a
magistrate court with such numbers of magistrates for each court as
are hereafter provided. There shall be elected by the voters of
each county, at the general election to be held in the year one
thousand nine hundred seventy-six, and in every fourth year
such the number of magistrates as is provided in
section two of this article. Beginning with the primary and
general elections to be conducted in the year two thousand four,
and in every fourth year thereafter, in all counties having two or
more magistrates there shall be, for election purposes, numbered
divisions corresponding to the number of magistrates to be elected.
Each magistrate must be elected at large from the entire county.
In each numbered division, the candidates for nomination or
election must be voted upon and the votes cast for the candidates
in each division must be tallied separately from the votes cast for
candidates in other numbered divisions within the county. The
candidate receiving the highest number of votes within a numbered division is nominated or elected, as the case may be. The filing
fee for the office of magistrate shall be is one percent of the
annual salary. The term of magistrates shall be for is four years
and shall begin begins on the first day of January of the year
following the year of election.
In counties where voting machines or electronic voting systems
are used, the procedures of section eleven, article four, chapter
three and section twelve, article four-a of said chapter three of
this code shall apply respectively to the election of magistrates
in the same manner as they apply to the election of members of the
House of Delegates.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section seven, article five,
chapter three of this code, for purposes of the primary election to
be held in the year one thousand nine hundred seventy-six, the last
day for filing certificates of candidacy for the office of
magistrate shall be extended to the twenty-seventh day of February
of that year.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to provide for numbered
divisions for the nomination and election of magistrates in
counties that have two or more magistrates, beginning in the year
2004. The divisions and election procedures therefore are
essentially similar as provided for the nomination and election of
circuit judges in circuits having more than one judge.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would