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§3-8-9. Lawful and unlawful election expenses; public opinion polls and limiting their purposes; limitation upon expenses; use of advertising agencies and reporting requirements; delegation of expenditures.

(a) No financial agent or treasurer of a political committee shall pay, give or lend, either directly or indirectly, any money or other thing of value for any election expenses, except for the following purposes:

(1) For rent, maintenance, office equipment and other furnishing of offices to be used as political headquarters and for the payment of necessary clerks, stenographers, typists, janitors and messengers actually employed therein;

(2) In the case of a candidate who does not maintain a headquarters, for reasonable office expenses, including, but not limited to, filing cabinets and other office equipment and furnishings, computers, computer hardware and software, scanners, typewriters, calculators, audio visual equipment, the rental of the use of the same, or for the payment for the shared use of same with the candidate's business and for the payment of necessary clerks, stenographers and typists actually employed;

(3) For printing and distributing books, pamphlets, circulars and other printed matter and radio and television broadcasting and painting, printing and posting signs, banners and other advertisements, including contributions to charitable, educational or cultural events, for the promotion of the candidate, the candidate's name or an issue on the ballot;

(4) For renting and decorating halls for public meetings and political conventions, for advertising public meetings and for the payment of traveling expenses of speakers and musicians at such meetings;

(5) For the necessary traveling and hotel expenses of candidates, political agents and committees and for stationery, postage, telegrams, telephone, express, freight and public messenger service;

(6) For preparing, circulating and filing petitions for nomination of candidates;

(7) For examining the lists of registered voters, securing copies thereof, investigating the right to vote of the persons listed therein and conducting proceedings to prevent unlawful registration or voting;

(8) For conveying voters to and from the polls;

(9) For securing publication in newspapers and by radio and television broadcasting of documents, articles, speeches, arguments and any information relating to any political issue, candidate or question or proposition submitted to a vote;

(10) For conducting public opinion poll or polls. For the purpose of this section, the phrase "conducting of public opinion poll or polls" shall mean and be limited to the gathering, collection, collation and evaluation of information reflecting public opinion, needs and preferences as to any candidate, group of candidates, party, issue or issues. No such poll shall be deceptively designed or intentionally conducted in a manner calculated to advocate the election or defeat of any candidate or group of candidates or calculated to influence any person or persons so polled to vote for or against any candidate, group of candidates, proposition or other matter to be voted on by the public at any election: Provided, That nothing herein shall prevent the use of the results of any such poll or polls to further, promote or enhance the election of any candidate or group of candidates or the approval or defeat of any proposition or other matter to be voted on by the public at any election;

(11) For legitimate advertising agency services, including commissions, in connection with any campaign activity for which payment is authorized by subdivisions (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), (9) and (10) of this subsection;

(12) For the purchase of memorials, flowers or citations by political party executive committees or political action committees representing a political party;

(13) For the purchase of nominal noncash expressions of appreciation following the close of the polls of an election or within thirty days thereafter;

(14) For the payment of dues or subscriptions to any national, state or local committee of any political party;

(15) For contributions to a county party executive committee, state party executive committee or a state party legislative caucus political committee; and

(16) For contributions to a candidate committee: Provided, That a candidate committee may not contribute to another candidate committee except as otherwise provided by section ten of this article.

(b) A political action committee may not contribute to another political action committee or receive contributions from another political action committee: Provided, That a political action committee may receive contributions from its national affiliate, if any.

(c) Every liability incurred and payment made shall be for the fair market value of the services rendered.

(d) Every advertising agency subject to the provisions of this article shall file, in the manner and form required by section five-a of this article, the financial statements required by section five of this article at the times required therein and include therein, in itemized detail, all receipts from and expenditures made on behalf of a candidate, financial agent or treasurer of a political party committee.

(e) Any candidate may designate a financial agent by a writing duly subscribed by him which shall be in such form and filed in accordance with the provisions of section four of this article.

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