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WVC 3 - 5 - 13 §3-5-13. Form and contents of ballots.
The face of every primary election ballot shall conform as nearly as practicable to that used at the general election.
(1) The heading of every ballot is to be printed in display type. The heading 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 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 the ______________ County Board of Education". 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.
(2) (A) 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.
(B) 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.
(C) 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: Provided, That the office title and applicable instructions may span the width of the ballot so as it is centered among the respective columns.
(D) 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.
(3)(A) 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.
(B) 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.
(C) The arrangement of names within each office must be determined as prescribed in section thirteen-a of this article.
(D) If the number of candidates for an office exceeds the space available on a column or ballot 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.
(4) 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.
(5) 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.
(6) 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: Provided, That no paper ballot voted pursuant to the provisions of 42 U.S.C. §1973, et seq., the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986, or Federal write-in absentee ballot may be rejected due to paper type, envelope type, or notarization requirement. Ballot cards and paper for printing ballots using electronically sensible ink are to meet minimum requirements of the tabulating systems and are to conform in size and weight to ensure ease in tabulation.
(7) Ballots 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 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.
(8) 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".
(9) 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.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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