Senate Bill No. 364
(By Senator Unger)
[Introduced February 25, 2013; referred to the Committee on the
A BILL to amend and reenact §3-5-7 and §3-5-22 of the Code of West
Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to elections and
nominating procedures; requiring a candidate in a partisan
election to have been affiliated with the same political party
for a period of sixty days before filing a certificate of
announcement of candidacy; providing that political parties
may not nominate candidates by party convention and by primary
election during the same election year; requiring notice of
intent to conduct a primary election; and deleting
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-5-7 and §3-5-22 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as
amended, be amended and reenacted, all 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.
(a) Any person who is eligible 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 his or her candidacy
for the nomination or election to the office.
(b) The certificate of announcement shall be filed as follows:
(1) Candidates for the House of Delegates or the state Senate
and any other office or political position to be filled by the
voters of more than one county shall file a certificate of
announcement with the Secretary of State.
(2) Candidates for an office or political position to be
filled by the voters of a single county or a subdivision of a
county, except for candidates for the House of Delegates or State
Senate, shall file a certificate of announcement with the clerk of
the county commission.
(3) Candidates for an office to be filled by the voters of a
municipality shall file a certificate of announcement with the
recorder or city clerk.
(c) The certificate of announcement shall be filed with the
proper officer not earlier than the second Monday in January next
preceding the primary election day, and not later than the last Saturday in 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 hour.
(d) The certificate of announcement shall be on 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 administer oaths, containing the following
(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 code;
(6) For partisan elections, the name of the candidate's
political party and a statement that the candidate: (A) Is a member
of and affiliated with that political party as evidenced by the
current registration as a voter affiliated with that
party, and (B) Has not been registered as a voter affiliated with
any other that 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 "uncommitted";
(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 _____________, 20____" and a space for the signature of the
officer giving the oath.
(e) The Secretary of State or the board of ballot
commissioners, as the case may be, may refuse to certify the
candidacy or may remove the certification of the candidacy upon
receipt of a certified copy of the voter's registration record of
the candidate showing 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 are 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 may not be refused certification for this reason.
(f) The certificate of announcement shall be subscribed 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 the certificate is guilty
of false swearing and shall be punished in accordance with section
three, article nine of this chapter.
(g) 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.
(h) A person may not 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 political party executive committees or
for delegate to a political party national convention.
(i) A 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 may not be certified
by the Secretary of State or placed on the ballot for any office by
the board of ballot commissioners.
(j) The provisions of this section enacted during the regular
session of the Legislature in the year 1991 shall apply to the
primary election held in the year 1992 and every primary election
held thereafter. The provisions of this section enacted during the
regular session of the Legislature in the year 2009 shall apply to
the primary election held in the year 2010 and every primary
election held thereafter.
§3-5-22. Other party nominations; procedure.
Any political party which polled less than ten percent of the
total vote cast only for Governor at the general election
immediately preceding may nominate candidates and select committees by party conventions, provided such nominations are made and the
certificates thereof filed within the time and in the manner
provided in section twenty-four of this article.
or by certificate
in the same manner as groups of citizens may make nominations as
provided in the following section
No delegate or person participating in the selection of
delegates under this section shall vote in any primary election
held in that year.
A political party choosing to nominate candidates by
convention under this section may not also nominate candidates by
primary election in the same election year. If a political party
with the option of nominating candidates under this section chooses
to nominate candidates by primary election, it must provide written
notice of intent to conduct a primary election to the Secretary of
State no later than twenty-eight days before the start of the
candidate filing period and is thereupon precluded from nominating
candidates by convention under this section. A political party
failing to provide such notice of intent to the Secretary of State
may only nominate candidates by convention under this section.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require a candidate in a
partisan election to have been affiliated with the same political
party for a period of sixty days before filing a certificate of
announcement of candidacy. The bill also provides that a political
party may not nominate candidates both by party convention pursuant
to §3-5-22 and by primary election during the same election year, and the party must provide notice to the Secretary of State if
nominating by primary election. Language in §3-5-22 which is
inconsistent with §3-5-23 is also removed.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would