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SB527 SUB1 Senate Bill 527 History

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COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE

FOR

Senate Bill No. 527

(By Senator Palumbo, Cann and McCabe)

____________

[Originating in the Committee on the Judiciary;

reported March 28, 2013.]

____________

 

A BILL to repeal §3-10-4a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend and reenact §3-10-1, §3-10-2, §3-10-3, §3-10-3a, §3-10-4, §3-10-5, §3-10-6, §3-10-7 and §3-10-8 of said code, all relating to filling vacancies by appointment or election in certain elected offices; defining terms; setting procedures for appointing persons to fill certain vacancies; requiring certain appointments within a certain period of time; listing time periods and certain offices where elections must be held to fill certain vacancies; setting special requirements for filling vacancies in certain offices; setting procedures for certain special elections; setting requirements for special filing periods, where necessary; requiring certain notice be given regarding elections to fill vacancies; providing for payment of costs if a new election is necessary; allowing nomination of certain persons without party affiliation; allowing emergency orders by the Secretary of State in certain circumstances; removing and repealing certain language relating to previous elections; clarifying method used to fill vacancies in the Office of Governor; permitting meeting of the Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission upon certain formal announcements of retirement or resignation; adjusting method to fill vacancies in certain statewide, legislative and judicial offices such that the timing for all are consistent; adjusting method to fill vacancies in United States Congress; requiring most elections to fill vacancies be held in conjunction with regularly scheduled elections; clarifying method used to fill vacancies in certain county offices; permitting vacancies in certain county offices to be filled by temporary replacements for no more than thirty days; and updating language regarding filling vacancies in certain elected offices.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §3-10-4a of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be repealed; and that §3-10-1, §3-10-2, §3-10-3, §3-10-3a, §3-10-4, §3-10-5, §3-10-6, §3-10-7 and §3-10-8 of said code be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 10. FILLING VACANCIES.

§3-10-1. Elections to fill vacancies.

    Except as provided in sections three and four of this article, elections to fill vacancies shall be conducted to fill any unexpired term when more than one year of the term of office remains at the time of such election. When less than one year of the term of office remains at the time of the election, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall continue in office until the completion of the term. 

    (a) When a vacancy occurs in an elected office of the state or county, it shall be filled according to the processes set forth in this article. As used in this article, unless otherwise indicated by the context:

    (1) “General cutoff date” means the eighty-fourth day before the general election that immediately precedes the general election where the office would be on the ballot for election if there were not a vacancy; and

    (2) “Primary cutoff date” means the eighty-fourth day before the primary election that immediately precedes the general cutoff date.

    (b) When this article requires an appointment to fill a vacancy in an elected office, the appointment shall be made within thirty days of the vacancy, unless this code specifically states a different time period for the specific office. The term that the appointee holds the office shall depend on when the vacancy occurs, as follows:

    (1) If the vacancy occurs after the primary cutoff date, then that appointee shall hold the office until the end of the term of office: Provided, That if the vacancy for any county office or United States Senate occurs during the window after the primary cutoff date, but before the general cutoff date, the process contained in sections four, six, seven and eight of this article, depending on the specific office vacated, shall be followed; or

    (2) If the vacancy occurs on or before the primary cutoff date, then the office shall be filled at the following regular primary and subsequent general election pursuant to this article and the appointee shall hold the office until a qualified replacement is elected and certified at that general election. The elected replacement shall hold the office until the end of the original term of office.

    (c) If an election is required to fill the vacancy by subsection (b) of this section and the other provisions of this article, the election shall proceed depending on when the vacancy occurs and in which office it occurs. Elections to fill vacancies shall be held at the same places, and superintended, conducted and returned, and the result ascertained, certified and declared, in the same manner, and by the same officers, as in general elections, unless otherwise stated in this article.

    (1) For a vacancy in the Office of Governor, the times for the special elections contained in section two of this article shall control. The proclamation entered pursuant to section two of this article by the person acting as Governor, shall include the dates for the special candidate filing period, if necessary, and shall follow the requirements set forth in this section. All aspects of this section, where not in conflict with section two of this article, shall also be followed. If a regularly scheduled primary or general election fits within the times for the special elections contained in section two of this article, the special elections shall be conducted in conjunction with the regularly scheduled election or elections. If an election is required by section two of this article and it cannot be held in conjunction with the regular election dates, then 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 to fill a vacancy 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 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.

    (2) For a vacancy in the offices of United States House of Representatives or United States Senate, the times for the special election, if necessary, contained in section four of this article shall control. All aspects of this section, where not in conflict with section four of this article, shall also be followed.

    (A) With regard to United States House of Representatives, the proclamation entered pursuant to section four of this article by the Governor, shall include the dates for the special candidate filing period, if necessary, and shall follow the requirements set forth in this section. If a regularly scheduled primary or general election fits within the times for the special elections contained in section four of this article, the special elections shall be conducted in conjunction with the regularly scheduled election or elections. If an election is required by section four of this article and it cannot be held in conjunction with the regular election dates, then 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 to fill a vacancy 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 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.

    (B) With regard to United States Senate, if a special general election following the regular general election is required by section four of this article, then 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 to fill the vacancy 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 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.

    (3) For all other offices, the Governor, or other person granted authority by this article, shall issue a proclamation stating that the office will appear on the next regular primary election and subsequent general election, in order to fill the vacancy: Provided, That if the vacancy for any county office occurs during the window after the primary cutoff date, but before the general cutoff date, the process contained in sections six, seven and eight of this article shall be followed. If the candidate filing period for the next regular primary election has closed or has less than one week remaining, the proclamation shall provide for a special primary candidate filing period. If there are less than eighty-four days between the vacancy and the next regular primary election, then the proclamation shall state that the office will appear on the subsequent regular primary election and corresponding general election following the next regular primary election: Provided, That if the vacancy for any county office occurs during the window after the eighty-fourth day before the primary date, but before the eighty-fourth day before the general date, the process contained in sections six, seven and eight of this article shall be followed.

    (d) (1) If a special candidate filing period is necessary, it shall begin no sooner than the day after the proclamation and shall close no earlier than close of business on the fourteenth day following the proclamation. A notarized declaration of candidacy and filing fee provided by section seven, article five of this chapter, shall be filed either in person, by United States mail, electronic means or any other means authorized by the Secretary of State and received by the appropriate office before the close of the filing period. For petition in lieu of payment of filing fees, a candidate seeking nomination for the vacancy may utilize the process set forth in section eight-a, article five of this chapter: Provided, That the minimum number of signatures required is equivalent to one qualified signature per one whole dollar of the filing fee for that office.

    (2) If a primary election is required by the provisions of this article:

    (A) For all statewide, multicounty and legislative elections, drawing for the 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.

    (B) For county elections, drawing for the primary election ballot position will take place at the county clerk’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 the chairperson of the county democratic and republican executive committees or their designee, and the president of the county commission or his or her designee.

    (3) Ballot position for a general election required by this article shall be determined pursuant to subdivision (3), subsection (c), section two, article six of this chapter. If a general election required by this article occurs in conjunction with a regularly scheduled primary election, the general election shall be listed along with the nonpartisan portion of each ballot in the order of offices provided for regular ballots in this chapter.

    (e) When an election is required to fill a vacancy, the date of the election and offices to be elected, as well as any other information required in the proclamation, shall be published prior to such election as a Class I-O legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be each county of the state that is eligible to vote in the election for those offices.

    (f) If an election is required by this article, 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 article.

    (g) If an election is required by this article, 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.

    (h) The persons elected, having first duly qualified, shall enter upon the duties of their respective offices. The elected replacement shall hold the office until the end of the original term of office.

§3-10-2. Vacancy in Office of Governor.

    (a) In case of the death, conviction on impeachment, failure to qualify, resignation or other disability of the Governor, the President of the Senate shall act as Governor until the vacancy is filled or the disability removed; and if the President of the Senate, for any of the above-named causes, shall be or become incapable of performing the duties of Governor, the same shall devolve upon the Speaker of the House of Delegates; and in all other cases where there is no one to act as Governor, one shall be chosen by the joint vote of the Legislature. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the Office of Governor before the first three years of the term shall have expired, a new election for Governor shall take place to fill the vacancy.

    (b) The new election shall consist of a special primary election and a special general election, and shall occur at such time as will permit the person elected as Governor in the new election to assume office within one year of the date the vacancy occurred: Provided, That the special general election provided in this section may not apply to section eight, article one of this chapter. Within thirty days from the date the vacancy occurs, the person acting as Governor pursuant to the State Constitution shall issue a proclamation fixing the time for a new statewide election to fill the vacancy in the Office of Governor. which shall be published prior to such election as a Class II-O legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be each county of the state. The proclamation issued by the person acting as Governor pursuant to the state Constitution shall provide for a special primary election to nominate candidates for the special general election. The special primary election to fill a vacancy in the Office of Governor shall take place no less than ninety days after the proclamation and no later than one hundred forty days from the date that the vacancy in the office occurs. The proclamation issued by the person acting as Governor pursuant to the State Constitution shall also provide for a special general election to take place no sooner than ninety days after the special primary election and no later than two hundred eighty days from the date that the vacancy in the office occurs.

    (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.

    (c) The election shall follow the requirements of section one of this article that are not in conflict with this section.

§3-10-3. Vacancies in offices of state officials, United States senators and judges.

    Any vacancy occurring in the offices of Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, United States Senator, judge justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals or in any office created or made elective to be filled by the voters of the entire state, judge of a circuit court or judge of a family court is filled by the Governor of the state by appointment If the unexpired term of a judge of the Supreme Court of Appeals, a judge of the circuit court or judge of a family court is for less than two years or if the unexpired term of any other office named in this section is for a period of less than two years and six months, the appointment to fill the vacancy is for the unexpired term. If the unexpired term of any office is for a longer period than above specified, the appointment is until a successor to the office has timely filed a certificate of candidacy, has been nominated at the primary election next following such timely filing and has thereafter been elected and qualified to fill the unexpired term. Proclamation of any election to fill an unexpired term is made by the Governor of the state and, in the case of an office to be filled by the voters of the entire state, must be published prior to the election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication is each county of the state. If the election is to fill a vacancy in the office of judge of a circuit court or judge of a family court, the proclamation must be published prior to the election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for such publication is each county in the judicial or family court circuit. and subsequent election to fill the remainder of the term, if required by section one of this article.

§3-10-3a. Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission.

    (a) The Judicial Vacancy Advisory Commission is hereby established to shall assist the Governor in filling judicial vacancies. The commission shall meet and submit a list of no more than five nor less than two best qualified persons to the Governor within ninety days of the occurrence of a vacancy, or the formal announcement of the justice or judge by letter to the Governor of an upcoming resignation or retirement that will result in the occurrence of a vacancy, in the office of justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, judge of an intermediate appellate court, judge of a circuit court, or judge of a family court. The Governor shall make the appointment to fill the vacancy, as required by this article, within thirty days following the receipt of the list of qualified candidates or within thirty days following the vacancy, whichever occurs later.

    (b) The commission shall consist of eight appointed members. Four public members shall be appointed by the Governor for six-year terms, except for the initial appointments which shall be staggered in accordance with subsection (c) of this section. Four attorney members shall be appointed by the Governor for six-year terms, except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, from a list of nominees provided by the Board of Governors of the West Virginia State Bar. The Board of Governors of the West Virginia State Bar shall nominate no more than twenty nor less than ten best qualified attorneys for appointment to the commission whenever there is a vacancy in the membership of the commission reserved for attorney members. The commission shall choose one of its appointed members to serve as chair for a three-year term. No more than four appointed members of the commission shall belong to the same political party. No more than three appointed members of the commission shall be residents of the same congressional district. All members of the commission shall be citizens of this state. Public members of the commission may not be licensed to practice law in West Virginia or any other jurisdiction.

    (c) Of the initial appointments made to the commission, two public members and two attorney members shall be appointed for a term ending two years after the effective date of this section, one public member and one attorney member shall be appointed for a term ending four years after the effective date of this section, and one public member and one attorney member shall be appointed for a term ending six years after the effective date of this section.

    (d) The Governor, or his or her designee, the President of the West Virginia State Bar and the Dean of the West Virginia University College of Law shall serve as ex officio members of the commission.

    (e) Members of the commission shall serve without compensation, except that commission members are entitled to reimbursement of travel and other necessary expenses actually incurred while engaged in official commission activities in accordance with the guidelines of the Travel Management Office of the Department of Administration, or its successor entity. The Governor’s Office shall cooperate with the commission to ensure that all resources necessary to carrying out the official duties of the commission are provided, including staff assistance, equipment and materials.

    (f) The commission shall adopt written policies that formalize and standardize all operating procedures and ethical practices of its members including, but not limited to, procedures for training commission members, publishing notice of judicial vacancies, recruiting qualified individuals for consideration by the commission, receiving applications from qualified individuals, notifying the public of judicial vacancies, notifying state or local groups and organizations of judicial vacancies and soliciting public comment on judicial vacancies. The written policies of the commission are not subject to the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code, but shall be filed with the Secretary of State.

    (g) A majority of the commission plus one shall constitute a quorum to do business.

    (h) All organizational meetings of the commission shall be open to the public and subject to the requirements of article nine-a, chapter six of this code. An “organizational meeting” means an initial meeting to discuss the commission’s procedures and requirements for a judicial vacancy. The commission shall hold at least one organizational meeting upon the occurrence of a judicial vacancy. All other meetings of the commission are exempt from article nine-a, chapter six of this code.

    (i) The commission shall make available to the public copies of any applications and any letters of recommendation written on behalf of any applicants. All other documents or materials created or received by the commission shall be confidential and exempt from the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-b of this code, except for the list of best-qualified persons or accompanying memoranda submitted to the Governor in accordance with the provisions of subsection (j) of this section, which shall be available for public inspection, and the written policies required to be filed with the Secretary of State in accordance with subsection (f) of this section.

    (j) The commission shall submit its list of best qualified persons to the Governor in alphabetical order. A memorandum may accompany the list of best-qualified persons and state facts concerning each of the persons listed. The commission shall make copies of any list of best-qualified persons and accompanying memoranda it submits to the Governor available for public inspection.

§3-10-4. Vacancies in representation in United States Congress.

    (a) If there be is a vacancy in the representation from this state in the House of Representatives in the Congress of the United States, the Governor shall, within ten five days after the fact comes to his or her knowledge, of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for such publication shall be each county in the congressional district. In such proclamation he the Governor shall appoint some day, issue a proclamation give notice thereof by proclamation, to be published prior to such election as a Class II-O legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions setting dates for a special primary election that is not less than thirty eighty-four nor more than seventy-five one hundred twenty days from the date thereof, for holding the election to fill such vacancy. Nominations to fill such vacancy shall be made in the manner prescribed for nominating a candidate to fill a vacancy in the office of Governor, to be voted for at a special election. The congressional district executive committee of a party shall perform the duties devolving upon the state executive committee in filling a state office. of the vacancy and a special general election that is not less than eighty-four nor more than one hundred twenty days following the date of the special primary election: Provided, That no such proclamation may be made nor may a special election be held if the vacancy occurs after the eighty-fourth day prior to the regularly scheduled primary election for a new full term of the office. The election shall follow the requirements of section one of this article that are not in conflict with this section.

    (b) If there is a vacancy in the representation from this state in the Senate of the United States Congress, the vacancy shall be filled by the Governor of the state by appointment and:

    (1) If the vacancy occurs on or before the primary cutoff date, then an election shall be held pursuant to section one of this article; or

    (2) If the vacancy occurs after the primary cutoff date, but on or before the general cutoff date, then the Governor shall issue a proclamation providing for (A) a special filing period, (B) a special primary election to be held in conjunction with the upcoming general election and (C) a special general election to be held not less than eighty-four nor more than one hundred twenty days following the date of the special primary election. Each election shall follow the requirements of section one of this article that are not in conflict with this section.

§3-10-5. Vacancies in State Legislature.

    (a) Any vacancy in the office of State Senator or member of the House of Delegates shall be filled by appointment by the Governor, from a list of three legally qualified persons submitted by the party executive committee of the party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated. Such The list of qualified persons to fill the vacancy shall be submitted to the Governor within fifteen days after the vacancy occurs and the Governor shall duly make his or her appointment to fill the vacancy from the list of legally qualified person persons within five days after the list is received. If the list is not submitted to the Governor within the fifteen day period, the Governor shall appoint within five days thereafter a legally qualified person of the same political party as the person vacating the office.

    (b) In the case of a member of the House of Delegates, the list shall be submitted by the party executive committee of the delegate district in which the vacating member resided at the time of his or her election or appointment. The appointment to fill a vacancy in the House of Delegates is for the unexpired term.

    (c) In the case of a State Senator, the list shall be submitted by the party executive committee of the state senatorial district in which the vacating senator resided at the time of his or her election or appointment. If the unexpired term in the office of the state Senator will be for less than two years and two months, the appointment is for the unexpired term. If the unexpired term will be for a period equal to or longer than two years and two months, the appointment is until the next general election and until the election and qualification of a successor to the person appointed, at which general election the vacancy shall be filled by election for the unexpired term. Notice of an election to fill a vacancy in the office of State Senator shall be given by the Governor by proclamation and shall be published before the election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code, and the publication area for the publication shall be each county in the senatorial district. Nominations for candidates to fill a vacancy shall be made in the manner prescribed for nominating a candidate to fill a vacancy in the office of Governor to be voted for at a general election. The state senatorial district executive committee of the political party shall discharge the duties incident to State Senator nominations devolving upon the party state executive committee in nominating a candidate for a state office. The appointment to fill a vacancy in the State Senate is for the unexpired term, unless section one of this article requires a subsequent election to fill the remainder of the term, which shall follow the procedure set forth in section one of this article.

§3-10-6. Vacancy in office of circuit court clerk.

    (a) When a vacancy occurs in the office of clerk of the circuit court, the circuit court by a majority vote of the judges or the chief judge thereof in vacation, shall fill the same within thirty days of the vacancy by appointment of a person of the same political party as the officeholder vacating the office until the next general election, or until the completion of the term if the term ends on December 31, following the next general election. The person so appointed shall hold office until his or her successor is elected and qualified. At the general election, a clerk shall be elected for the unexpired term if the unexpired term is greater than one year for the period required by section one of this article.

    (b) Notwithstanding any code provision to the contrary, the chief judge may appoint a temporary successor to the office of clerk of the circuit court until the requirements of this section have been met. The temporary successor may serve no more than thirty days from the date of the vacancy.

    The (c) If an election is necessary, the circuit court, or the chief judge thereof in vacation, shall cause a notice of the election to be published prior to the election as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code. The publication area for the publication shall be the county is responsible for the proper proclamation, by order and notice required by section one of this article.

    candidates to fill the vacancy shall be nominated at the primary election in accordance with the time requirements and the provisions and procedures prescribed in section eleven, article five of this chapter. If (d) Section one of this article shall be followed with respect to any election needed to fill a vacancy, except that if If the vacancy occurs no later than the eighty-fourth day before the primary election held to nominate candidates to be voted for at the general election, at which any vacancy is to be filled, the vacancy occurs after the eighty-fourth day before the primary cutoff date but not later than the eighty-fourth day before the general election, they general cutoff date, candidates to fill the vacancy shall be nominated by the county executive committee in the manner provided in section nineteen, article five of this chapter, as in the case of filling vacancies in nominations, and the names of the persons, so nominated and certified to the clerk of the county commission of the county, shall be placed upon the ballot to be voted at the next general election.

§3-10-7. Vacancies in offices of county commissioner and clerk of county commission.

    (a) Any vacancy in the office of county commissioner or clerk of county commission shall be filled by the county commission of the county, unless the number of vacancies in a county commission deprive that body of a quorum, in which case the Governor of the state shall fill any vacancy in the county commission necessary to create a quorum thereof. Persons appointed shall be of the same political party as the officeholder vacating the office and shall continue in office until the next general election is certified, or until the completion of the term if the term ends on December 31, following the next general election: Provided, That in the event for the period stated by section one of this article. If a quorum of the county commission cannot agree upon a person to fill a vacancy in the office of county commissioner within thirty days of the date the vacancy first occurred, the county executive committee of the vacating county commissioner’s political party shall select and name a person to fill the vacancy from the membership of the vacating county commissioner’s political party.

    Notice of the election shall be given by order of the county commission and published as prescribed in section six of this article. 

    (b) Notwithstanding any code provision to the contrary, a county commission may appoint a temporary successor to the office of clerk of the county commission until the requirements of this section have been met. The temporary successor may serve no more than thirty days from the date of the vacancy.

    (c) If an election is necessary under section one of this article, the county commission, or the president thereof in vacation, shall be responsible for the proper proclamation, by order, and notice required by section one of this article.

    (d) Section one of this article shall be followed with respect to any election needed to fill a vacancy, except that if the vacancy occurs after the primary cutoff date but not later than the general cutoff date, candidates to fill the vacancy shall be nominated by the county executive committee in the manner provided in section nineteen, article five of this chapter, as in the case of filling vacancies in nominations, and the names of the persons, so nominated and certified to the clerk of the county commission of the county, shall be placed upon the ballot to be voted at the next general election. Nomination of candidates to fill the office for an unexpired term in the office of county commissioner or clerk of the county commission shall be made in the manner prescribed for making nominations to fill a vacancy in the office of the clerk of the circuit court.

    (e) In the event that If the election for an unexpired term is held at the same time as the election for a full term for county commissioner, the full term shall be counted first and the unexpired term shall be counted second. If the candidate with the highest number of votes for the unexpired term resides in the same magisterial district as the candidate with the highest number of votes for the full term, the candidate for the full term shall be seated. The candidate with the next highest number of votes for the unexpired term residing in a different magisterial district shall be seated for the unexpired term.

§3-10-8. Vacancies in offices of prosecuting attorney, sheriff, assessor and surveyor.

    (a) Any vacancy occurring in the office of prosecuting attorney, sheriff, assessor or county surveyor shall be filled by the county commission within thirty days of the vacancy by appointment of a person of the same political party as the officeholder vacating the office. The appointed person shall hold the office until the next general election is certified, or until the completion of the term if the term ends on December 31, following the next general election Notice of an election to fill a vacancy in any of the offices named in this section shall be given by the county commission, or by the president thereof in vacation, and published or posted in the manner prescribed in section six of this article. Nomination of candidates to fill any vacancy shall be made in the manner prescribed in section six of this article for nominating candidates to fill a vacancy in the office of the clerk of the circuit court. for the period stated by section one of this article.

    (b) Notwithstanding any code provision to the contrary, a county commission may appoint a temporary successor to the office of prosecuting attorney, sheriff, assessor or county surveyor until the requirements of this section have been met. The temporary successor may serve no more than thirty days from the date of the vacancy.

    (c) If an election is necessary under section one of this article, the county commission, or the president thereof in vacation, shall be responsible for the proper proclamation, by order, and notice required by section one of this article.

    (d) Section one of this article shall be followed with respect to any election needed to fill a vacancy, except that if the vacancy occurs after the primary cutoff date but not later than the general cutoff date, candidates to fill the vacancy shall be nominated by the county executive committee in the manner provided in section nineteen, article five of this chapter, as in the case of filling vacancies in nominations, and the names of the persons, so nominated and certified to the clerk of the county commission of the county, shall be placed upon the ballot to be voted at the next general election.

 

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