(b) The compensation of election officers, cost of printing ballots and all other reasonable and necessary expenses in holding and making the return of the new election provided in this section to fill a vacancy in the office of Governor are obligations of the state incurred by the ballot commissioners, clerks of the county commissions and county commissions of the various counties as agents of the state. All expenses of the new election are to be audited by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State shall prepare and transmit to the county commissions forms on which the county commissions shall certify all expenses of the new election provided in this section to the Secretary of State. If satisfied that the expenses as certified by the county commissions are reasonable and were necessarily incurred, the Secretary of State shall requisition the necessary warrants from the Auditor of the state to be drawn on the State Treasurer and shall mail the warrants directly to the vendors of the new election services, supplies and facilities.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section to the contrary, for purposes of filling the vacancy that occurred in the office of Governor on November 15, 2010, a new election shall occur as follows:
(1) Upon the effective date of this subsection, the person acting as Governor pursuant to the state constitution shall immediately issue a proclamation calling for a special primary and general election as provided for in this subsection. For purposes of this subsection, the new elections so provided in the proclamation mean the special primary and general elections as set forth in this subsection.
(2) The special primary election shall be held on May 14, 2011 and the special general election shall be held on October 4, 2011.
(3) The proclamation for the special primary election and special general election shall be published prior to the special primary election and special general elections, respectively, as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in accordance with article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication is each county of the state. The notice shall be filed with the Secretary of State who shall cause the document to be published within each county in accordance with this section.
(4) The provisions of this chapter apply to the special primary election and special general election to the extent that those provisions are consistent with the provisions of this section. Statutory time deadlines for the purpose of the new election provided in this subsection are modified as follows:
(A) A notarized declaration of candidacy and filing fee shall be filed and received in hand by the Secretary of State by 5:00 p.m. on the fifth calendar day following the proclamation of the special primary election. The declaration of candidacy may be filed in person, by United States mail, electronic means or any other means authorized by the Secretary of State;
(B) The Secretary of State may issue emergency administrative orders to undertake other ministerial actions that are otherwise authorized pursuant to this code when necessary to assure the preservation of the voting rights of the citizens of this state and avoid fraudulent voting and election activities and otherwise assure the orderly and efficient conduct of the new election provided in this subsection: Provided, That emergency administrative orders may not contravene the provisions of this section;
(C) For petition in lieu of payment of filing fees, a candidate seeking nomination for the vacancy in the office of Governor may utilize the process set forth in section eight-a, article five of this chapter: Provided, That the minimum number of signatures required is one thousand five hundred;
(D) Drawing for special primary election ballot position will take place at the Secretary of State's office twenty-four hours after the end of the filing period. For each major political party on the ballot, a single drawing by lot shall determine the candidate ballot position for ballots statewide. This drawing shall be witnessed by four clerks of the county commission chosen by the West Virginia Association of County Clerks, with no more than two clerks representing a single political party. Ballot position for the special general election shall be determined pursuant to subdivision (3), subsection (c), section two, article six of this chapter;
(E) A registered voter who has not reached eighteen years of age may vote in the May 14, 2011 special primary election: Provided, That the voter will attain eighteen years of age at the time of the special general election provided in this subsection;
(F) When paper or optical scan ballots are the primary voting method used at any county, the total number of regular official ballots printed shall equal at a minimum fifty percent of the number of registered voters eligible to vote that ballot;
(G) When paper ballots are used in conjunction with a direct recording electronic voting system, the total number of regular official ballots printed shall equal at a minimum thirty percent of the registered voters eligible to vote that ballot;
(H) Regularly scheduled locations of polling places may not be changed, except for situations as provided in sections seven-e and seven-f, article one of this chapter: Provided, That if multiple precincts voted in one polling location for the November 2, 2010, regularly scheduled general election, these precincts may be consolidated into a single precinct. Locations for consolidated precincts shall provide Internet access, insofar as possible, for the sole purpose of utilizing the statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) as an electronic poll book. However, constitutionally mandated redistricting may not take effect until the special primary election and special general election provided in this subsection are complete; and
(I) Citizens having no party organization or affiliation may nominate candidates as provided by sections twenty-three and twenty-four of article five of this chapter: Provided, That the number of signatures required to be submitted shall be equal to not less than one-quarter of one percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding general election for governor. Notwithstanding the provisions of sections twenty three and twenty four of article five of this chapter, the signatures, notarized declaration of candidacy, and filing fee must be submitted no later than seven calendar days following the special primary election provided in this subsection.
(J) For the special primary election to be held pursuant to this subsection, early voting will also be conducted from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on the Saturday immediately prior to the end of early voting.
(5) The provisions of this subsection shall expire upon the election and qualification of the Governor following the October 4, 2011 special general election.
(d) The Secretary of State shall by January 10, 2012 report to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance findings regarding of the operation of the new election undertaken pursuant to subsection (c) of this section. This report shall provide analysis of the direct and indirect costs to the state associated with the conduct of the new election. Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2012 1st Special Session