The West Virginia legislature adjourned on March 18, having passed few election law bills. Bills that failed to pass included two bills to re-define “political party”. Currently, a qualified party is one that polled 1% for Governor at the last regular election. The bills would have added alternatives. Another bill that failed to pass would have eliminated the straight-ticket device. Another would have passed the National Popular Vote Plan.
The Governor vetoed HB 2438, which would have clarified the definition of “independent voter” to make it clear that a registered member of an unqualified party is considered to be an independent. The only time this makes a difference is when a party entitled to its own primary has a rule allowing independent voters to vote in its primary. The Governor vetoed the bill because of other, unrelated provisions in the bill.
Restrictive bills that failed to pass included several bills to force declared write-in candidates to pay a filing fee (SB 29 and HB 2417); a bill to change the order of parties on the ballot so that the party with the most voter registrations is always listed first on the ballot (HB 2444); and a bill to provide that the names and addresses of people who sign petitions should be made public (HB 2533).
The Governor signed HB 3100 on March 30. It repeals the law that says liquor can not be sold on election day.