WEST VIRGINIA CODE
CHAPTER 5. GENERAL POWERS AND AUTHORITY OF THE GOVERNOR, SECRETARY OF STATE AND ATTORNEY GENERAL; BOARD OF PUBLIC WORKS; MISCELLANEOUS AGENCIES, COMMISSIONS, OFFICES, PROGRAMS, ETC.
ARTICLE 2. SECRETARY OF STATE.
§5-2-1. General duties.
The secretary of state shall be the keeper of the seals of the
state, keep a journal of executive proceedings, arrange and
preserve all records and papers belonging to the executive
department, be charged with the clerical duties of that department,
and render to the governor, in the dispatch of the executive
business, such service as he may require.
§5-2-2. Authority to administer oaths.
Where any oath may lawfully be taken within the state, it may
be administered by the secretary of state, unless otherwise
provided by law.
WVC 5 - 2 - 3
§5-2-3. Retention and preservation of records of the secretary of
state; destruction of records.
(a) The secretary of state shall provide for the storage and
retention of those essential records, as defined in section four,
article eight, chapter five-a of this code, filed in the office of
the secretary of state for the period specified by law or
legislative rule. The secretary of state shall propose rules for
legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of article
three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code identifying the essential
records and providing for the minimum retention period.
(b) Where a preservation duplicate, as defined in section
three, article eight, chapter five-a of this code, is made of a
record filed with the secretary of state by photography,
microphotography, digital imaging or other electronic means which
accurately reproduces and preserves the record on microfilm,
microfiche, optical disks or other unalterable electronic storage
medium which complies with national standards or nationally
accepted practice for permanent archival storage, the secretary of
state may provide for the destruction of the original paper copy
when the following conditions are met:
(1) The preservation duplicate has been created, reviewed for
quality, indexed in a reasonable manner as provided by the
secretary of state and determined to be accessible by means of the
(2) An additional archive copy of the preservation duplicate has been created and stored in a fireproof, secure storage
(3) The original paper copy has been preserved for at least
three months following the creation of the preservation duplicate.
(c) The original copies of the papers of the governor,
including executive orders, proclamations, appointments, pardons
and other documents signed by the governor, shall be retained
permanently, regardless of whether a preservation duplicate has
(d) The secretary of state shall have authority to determine
the retention period for nonessential records.
(e) The secretary of state may, upon mutual agreement with the
director of the division of archives and history, transfer to the
division of archives and history those records of the secretary of
state as may be identified as having primarily historic value in
order to make those records more available for purposes of
(f) Following the expiration of the required retention period,
the destruction of confidential original records shall be conducted
in a manner designed to protect the secrecy of those records.
(g) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require the
secretary of state to destroy original records immediately upon the
expiration of the retention period.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session
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