§3-5-23. Certificate nominations; requirements and control; penalties


Published: 2015

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WEST VIRGINIA CODE











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WVC 3 - 5 - 23

§3-5-23. Certificate nominations; requirements and control;

penalties.

(a) Groups of citizens having no party organization may

nominate candidates who are not already candidates in the primary

election for public office otherwise than by conventions or primary

elections. In that case, the candidate or candidates, jointly or

severally, shall file a nomination certificate in accordance with

the provisions of this section and the provisions of section

twenty-four of this article.

(b) The person or persons soliciting or canvassing signatures

of duly qualified voters on the certificate or certificates, may

solicit or canvass duly registered voters residing within the

county, district or other political division represented by the

office sought, but must first obtain from the clerk of the county

commission credentials which must be exhibited to each voter

canvassed or solicited, which credentials may be in the following

form or effect:

State of West Virginia, County of ..................., ss:

This certifies that the holder of this credential is hereby

authorized to solicit and canvass duly registered voters residing

in .................... (here place the county, district or other

political division represented by the office sought) to sign a

certificate purporting to nominate ............................

(here place name of candidate heading list on certificate) for the

office of ............................. and others, at the general election to be held on ........................., 20......

Given under my hand and the seal of my office this

................. day of ........................, 20......

.................................................

Clerk, county commission of ................... County.

The clerk of each county commission, upon proper application

made as herein provided, shall issue such credentials and shall

keep a record thereof.

(c) The certificate shall be personally signed by duly

registered voters, in their own proper handwriting or by their

marks duly witnessed, who must be residents within the county,

district or other political division represented by the office

sought wherein the canvass or solicitation is made by the person or

persons duly authorized. The signatures need not all be on one

certificate. The number of signatures shall be equal to not less

than one percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding

general election for the office in the state, district, county or

other political division for which the nomination is to be made,

but in no event shall the number be less than twenty-five. The

number of signatures shall be equal to not less than one percent of

the entire vote cast at the last preceding general election for any

statewide, congressional or presidential candidate, but in no event

shall the number be less than twenty-five. Where two or more

nominations may be made for the same office, the total of the votes

cast at the last preceding general election for the candidates receiving the highest number of votes on each ticket for the office

shall constitute the entire vote. A signature on a certificate may

not be counted unless it be that of a duly registered voter of the

county, district or other political division represented by the

office sought wherein the certificate was presented.

(d) The certificates shall state the name and residence of

each of the candidates; that he or she is legally qualified to hold

the office; that the subscribers are legally qualified and duly

registered as voters and desire to have the candidates placed on

the ballot; and may designate, by not more than five words, a brief

name of the party which the candidates represent and may adopt a

device or emblem to be printed on the official ballot. All

candidates nominated by the signing of the certificates shall have

their names placed on the official ballot as candidates, as if

otherwise nominated under the provisions of this chapter.

The Secretary of State shall prescribe the form and content of

the nomination certificates to be used for soliciting signatures.

Offices to be filled by the voters of more than one county

shall use separate petition forms for the signatures of qualified

voters for each county.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this code to the

contrary, a duly registered voter may sign the certificate provided

in this section and may vote for candidates of his or her choosing

in the corresponding primary election.

(e) The Secretary of State, or the clerk of the county commission, as the case may be, may investigate the validity of the

certificates and the signatures thereon. If, upon investigation,

there is doubt as to the legitimacy and the validity of

certificate, the Secretary of State may ask the Attorney General of

the state, or the clerk of the county commission may ask the

prosecuting attorney of the county, to institute a quo warranto

proceeding against the nominee by certificate to determine his or

her right to the nomination to public office and upon request being

made, the Attorney General or prosecuting attorney shall institute

the quo warranto proceeding. The clerk of the county commission

shall, at the request of the Secretary of State or the clerk of the

circuit court, compare the information from any certificate to the

county voter registration records in order to assist in determining

the validity of any certificates.

(f) In addition to penalties prescribed elsewhere for

violation of this chapter, any person violating the provisions of

this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall

be fined not more than $1,000, or confined in jail not more than

one year, or both fined and imprisoned: Provided, That a criminal

penalty may not be imposed upon anyone who signs a nomination

certificate and votes in the primary election held after the date

the certificate was signed.





Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session

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