Enrolled Committee Substitute
House Bill 3134 History
OTHER VERSIONS -
HB3134 ENR SUB
H. B. 3134
(By Delegates Fleischauer, Beach, Marshall,
Shook, Hunt, Frazier, Brown, Miley,
Longstreth, Lawrence and Manchin)
[Passed April 10, 2009; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by
adding thereto a new article, designated §3-3A-1, §3-3A-2, §3-
3A-3, §3-3A-4 and §3-3A-5, all relating to a voting by mail;
creating a two phase vote by mail pilot program for
municipalities; allowing class IV municipalities to conduct
early voting in municipal elections by mail; requiring
adoption of an ordinance; requiring the Secretary of State
select five municipalities for a pilot project; allowing
selected municipalities conduct municipal elections by mail;
requiring emergency and legislative rules; setting forth
criteria; granting authority to conduct voting by mail; and
providing for termination of phase two of the pilot project.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new article, designated §3-3A-1, §3-3A-2, §3-
3A-3, §3-3A-4 and §3-3A-5, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 3A. VOTE BY MAIL PILOT PROGRAM.
§3-3A-1. Short title.
This article shall be known as the "West Virginia Vote By Mail
§3-3A-2. Vote by mail pilot program.
This article establishes a two phase pilot project that will
allow certain municipalities to vote by mail. Phase one authorizes
Class IV municipalities to conduct only early voting for municipal
elections by mail beginning with the municipal election of 2010.
Phase two authorizes five municipalities in the state to conduct
all voting by mail beginning with the primary election of 2011.
The pilot project will permit registered and other qualified voters
of the authorized municipalities to vote a ballot by mail during
the pilot program period. The Class IV municipalities that choose
to participate in phase one may conduct only the early voting for
the municipal elections entirely by mail. The five municipalities
selected for participation in phase two may conduct both the
primary and general elections entirely by mail.
§3-3A-3. Secretary of State Rulemaking.
(a) The Secretary of State is hereby directed to propose
emergency and legislative rules in accordance with the provisions
of article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code necessary to
implement phase one of the vote by mail pilot program. In addition
to any other provisions the Secretary believes are necessary to
provide for the effective, efficient and orderly administration of
phase one of the vote by mail pilot program, the rules proposed by
the Secretary shall provide for phase one municipal elections the
requirements and procedures for conducting an election by mail
(1) That a notice of early voting by mail will be mailed to each registered voter in the municipality no more than four weeks
nor less than two weeks prior to the start of the early voting
period. The notice may be included in any utility or service
statement or invoice mailed to every household in the municipality
or a postcard sent to all registered voters in the municipality;
(2) That each ballot packet shall consist of the actual
ballot, instructions, a secrecy envelope and a ballot return
(3) That each ballot will be mailed with detailed instructions
on how to mark the ballot, place it in the secrecy envelop and the
ballot return envelope and how to sign the ballot return envelope,
a warning that the ballot return envelope must be signed or the
ballot will not be counted, a warning that signing someone else's
ballot return envelope is illegal, an alternative procedure for any
person who is unable to sign a ballot return envelope and a
procedure for returning a spoiled ballot should the voter make a
mistake or otherwise need a new ballot; and
(4) That each ballot must be mailed or brought to the
municipal precinct by the close of the early voting period.
(b) The Secretary of State is hereby directed to propose
legislative rules in accordance with the provisions of article
three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code necessary to implement
the phase two vote by mail pilot program. In addition to any other
provisions the Secretary believes are necessary to provide for the
effective, efficient and orderly administration of phase two of the
vote by mail pilot program, the rules proposed by the Secretary
(1) Criteria for the selection of up to five municipalities to participate in the vote by mail pilot program;
(2) Procedures for conducting voting by mail including those
specified in subsection (a) of this section;
(3) Requirements and criteria for the designation of places of
deposit for the ballots cast in an election; and
(4) Dates and times the places of deposit must be open and the
security requirements for the places of deposit. Places of deposit
shall be open on the date of the election for a period of eight or
more hours, but must be open until at least eight p.m., at a
(c) Each municipality wishing to conduct early voting by mail
shall adopt an ordinance expressing the municipality's intent and
notifying the public of the changes in voting.
(d) It is the duty of all officials designated to supervise
and conduct the vote by mail program, other municipal officials,
and all election commissioners and poll clerks to abide by the
Secretary of State's rules, orders and instructions and to use the
forms, lists and records prescribed by the Secretary of State.
§3-3A-4. Authority to conduct voting by mail
The voting by mail program is to be supervised and conducted
by the municipal recorder or other officer authorized by charter or
ordinance provisions to conduct voting for any election held
entirely within the municipality. All other provisions of this
article for conducting a municipal election shall apply.
§3-3A-5. Termination of pilot project.
The provisions of this article related to phase two of the
pilot project shall terminate on January 1, 2014, unless sooner terminated, continued or reestablished.