WEST virginia Legislature
2019 regular session
House Bill 2309
By Delegate Sponaugle
[Introduced January 11, 2019; Referred
to the Committee on Political Subdivisions then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend and reenact §8-4-10 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to allowing municipalities to cancel elections when only one person is running for each office up for election and deeming those elected by acclamation.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
ARTICLE 4. FRAMING AND ADOPTING A CHARTER OTHER THAN IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING INCORPORATION; REVISING OR AMENDING A CHARTER; ELECTIONS AND EXPENSES.
PART III. ELECTIONS; EXPENSES.
§8-4-10. Conduct of elections; general provisions concerning canvass and declaration of results; election supplies; election officials; providing for dispensing of election when single candidate for all offices in election.
(a) The governing body of a city shall canvass the
returns within relatively the same time with reference to an election held
under the provisions of this article and in the same manner as county courts
are required to do with respect to general elections, and shall declare the
results of any such election. This requirement shall apply to any election held
under the provisions of this article, whether it be a special municipal
election or voting conducted in conjunction with a general election or a
regular municipal election. The canvass and declaration of results shall be
entered in the minutes of the governing body on the date made. Unless otherwise
provided by charter provision, any such special municipal election or voting
conducted in conjunction with a general election or a regular municipal
election shall be held and conducted under the supervision at each precinct of
three commissioners of election and two clerks who shall be appointed by the
governing body and shall be conducted as nearly as may be in accordance with
the laws of this state governing general elections, subject, however, in the
case of a special municipal election to the provisions of §8-4-11 of this code.
For any special municipal election or voting conducted in conjunction with a
general election or a regular municipal election, in accordance with the provisions
of this article, the governing body shall arrange for and provide at its
expense registration books, challenges and other election supplies as provided
by law in general elections and polling places in any such special municipal
election or with respect to any such voting conducted in conjunction with a
regular municipal election. In the event any commissioner or clerk appointed by
the governing body shall fail or refuse to serve, such vacancy may be filled in
like manner as such vacancies are filled in general elections under the laws of
this state governing general elections, except that the governing body shall
act in the place and stead of the county court. A recount may be had, as in
general elections, upon the party or parties desiring such recount providing
adequate assurance to the governing body that
he or they the party or
parties will pay all costs of such recount.
(b) Notwithstanding any code provision to the contrary, when the filing period has closed for persons to file as a candidate for municipal office, and as of the end of the filing period there is only one person having filed for each office up for election, the governing body may cancel the upcoming election, and all those persons so filed shall be deemed elected by acclamation to those offices. The governing body shall publish notice, instead of a sample ballot as required prior to an election pursuant to §3-1-20 and §3-1-21 of this code, sufficient to give notice of the cancellation of the upcoming election and the names of those who will serve in office. The term of office and all other aspects of holding the office shall apply as if the candidates were lawfully elected pursuant to an election.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to allow municipalities to cancel municipal elections and appoint candidates by acclamation, if there is only one candidate running for each municipal office up for election.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from a heading or the present law and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.