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WEST VIRGINIA CODE

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CHAPTER 3. ELECTIONS.

ARTICLE 10. FILLING VACANCIES.

§3-10-3. Vacancies in offices of state officials, justices, judges, and magistrates.

(a) Any vacancy occurring in the offices of Secretary of State, Auditor, Treasurer, Attorney General, Commissioner of Agriculture, or in any office created or made elective to be filled by the voters of the entire state, is filled by the Governor of the state by appointment and subsequent election to fill the remainder of the term, if required by §3-10-1 of this code. The Governor shall make the appointment from a list of three legally qualified persons submitted by the party executive committee of the same political party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated at the time the vacancy occurred. The list of qualified persons to fill the vacancy shall be submitted to the Governor within 15 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 persons within five days after the list is received. If the list is not submitted to the Governor within the 15-day period, the Governor shall appoint, within five days thereafter, a legally qualified person of the same political party with which the person holding the office immediately preceding the vacancy was affiliated at the time the vacancy occurred: Provided, That the provisions of this subsection do not apply to §3-10-3(b), §3-10-3(c), §3-10-3(d), and §3-10-3(e) of this code.

(b) Any vacancy occurring in the offices of Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, judge of a circuit court, or judge of a family court is filled by the Governor of the state by appointment and, if the unexpired term be for a period of more than two years, by a subsequent election to fill the remainder of the term, as required by §3-10-3(d) of this code. If an election is required under §3-10-3(d) of this code, the Governor, circuit court, or the chief judge thereof in vacation, is responsible for the proper proclamation by order and notice required by §3-10-1 of this code.

(c) Any vacancy in the office of magistrate is appointed according to the provisions of §50-1-6 of this code, and, if the unexpired term be for a period of more than two years, by a subsequent election to fill the remainder of the term, as required by §3-10-3(d) of this code.

(d) (1) When the vacancy in the office of Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, judge of the circuit court, judge of a family court, or magistrate occurs after the 84th day before a general election, and the affected term of office ends on December 31 following the succeeding general election two years later, the person appointed to fill the vacancy shall continue in office until the completion of the term.

(2) When the vacancy occurs before the close of the candidate filing period for the primary election, and if the unexpired term be for a period of greater than two years, the vacancy shall be filled by election in the nonpartisan judicial election held concurrently with the primary election and the appointment shall continue until a successor is elected and certified.

(3) When the vacancy occurs after the close of candidate filing for the primary election and not later than 84 days before the general election, and if the unexpired term be for a period of greater than two years, the vacancy shall be filled by election in a nonpartisan judicial election held concurrently with the general election, and the appointment shall continue until a successor is elected and certified.

(e) When an election to fill a vacancy is required to be held at the general election, according to the provisions of §3-10-3(d) of this code, a special candidate filing period shall be established. Candidates seeking election to any unexpired term for Justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, judge of a circuit court, judge of the family court, or magistrate shall file a certificate of announcement and pay the filing fee no earlier than the first Monday in August and no later than 77 days before the general election.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2017 Regular Session
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