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Committee Substitute House Bill 2464 History

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HB2464 SUB
COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

H. B. 2464


(By Delegates Spencer, Hatfield, Guthrie,

M. Poling and Morgan)
(Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary)
[March 24, 2009]


A BILL to amend and reenact §3-3-2a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to early voting and authorizing county commissions to designate voting locations other than the county courthouse or annex of the courthouse; requiring the Secretary of State to propose legislative and emergency rules.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §3-3-2a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3. VOTING BY ABSENTEES.
§3-3-2a. Early voting areas; prohibition against display of campaign material.

(a)
Early voting shall take place at the county courthouse, the annex to the courthouse, or any other location designated by the county commission as provided in subsection (b).
(b) A county clerk may request that the county commission designate additional locations within the county for early in person voting, other than the county courthouse or courthouse annex. Upon the request of the county clerk, the county commission may designate additional locations within the county for early in- person voting, other than the county courthouse or courthouse annex, in accordance with criteria prescribed by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State is hereby directed to propose legislative and emergency rules in accordance with the provisions of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code as may be necessary to implement the provisions of this section, including the establishment of criteria for the selection of additional locations for early in-person voting within a county other than the county courthouse or courthouse annex.
(c) Throughout the period of early in-person voting, the official designated to supervise and conduct absentee voting shall make the following provisions for voting:
(1) The official shall provide a sufficient number of voting booths or devices appropriate to the voting system at which voters may prepare their ballots. The booths or devices are to be in an area separate from but within clear view of the public entrance area of the official's office or other area designated by the county commission for absentee voting and are to be arranged to ensure the voter complete privacy in casting the ballot.
(2) The official shall make the voting area secure from interference with the voter and shall ensure that voted and unvoted ballots are at all times secure from tampering. No person, other than a person lawfully assisting the voter according to the provisions of this chapter, may be permitted to come within five feet of the voting booth while the voter is voting. No person, other than the officials or employees of the official designated to supervise and conduct absentee voting or members of the board of ballot commissioners assigned to conduct absentee voting, may enter the area or room set aside for voting.
(3) The official designated to supervise and conduct absentee voting shall request the county commission designate another area within the county courthouse, any annex of the courthouse or any other designated as early in-person voting locations within the county, as a portion of the official's office, for the purpose of absentee in-person voting in the following circumstances:
(A) If the voting area is not accessible to voters with physical disabilities;
(B) If the voting area is not within clear view of the public entrance of the office of the official designated to supervise and conduct absentee voting; or
(C) If there is no suitable area for absentee in-person voting within the office.
Any designated area is subject to the same requirements as the regular absentee voting area.
(4) The official designated to supervise and conduct absentee voting shall have at least two representatives to assist with absentee voting: Provided, That the two representatives shall may not be registered with the same political party affiliation or two persons registered with no political party affiliation. The representatives may be full-time employees, temporary employees hired for the period of absentee voting in person or volunteers.
(5) No person may do any electioneering nor may any person display or distribute in any manner, or authorize the display or distribution of, any literature, posters or material of any kind which tends to influence the voting for or against any candidate or any public question on the property of the county courthouse, or any annex facilities, or any other designated early voting locations within the county, during the entire period of regular in-person absentee voting. The official designated to supervise and conduct absentee voting is hereby authorized to remove the material and to direct the sheriff of the county to enforce the prohibition.


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