Note: Ballotpedia will be read-only from 9pm CST on February 25-March 5 while Judgepedia is merged into Ballotpedia.
For status updates, visit lucyburns.org.
Ballotpedia's coverage of elections held on March 3, 2015, was limited. Select races were covered live, and all results will be added once the merger is complete.

Ballot access requirements for political candidates in West Virginia

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Election policy on Policypedia
Policypedia-Election-logo-no background.png

Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Redistricting
Ballot access information by state
AlabamaAlaskaArizonaArkansasCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaHawaiiIdahoIllinoisIndianaIowaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMaineMarylandMassachusettsMichiganMinnesotaMississippiMissouriMontanaNebraskaNevadaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNew YorkNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVermontVirginiaWashingtonWest VirginiaWisconsinWyoming
Horizontal-Policypedia logo-color.png
This page contains extensive information about ballot access requirements for state and federal candidates running for elected office in the state of West Virginia. Offices included are:

This page contains information on specific filing dates for each election year, how to become a candidate, how to create a political party, campaign finance requirements, state agency contacts involved in the election process, and term limits in West Virginia. Information on running for election as a presidential candidate or for county and municipal offices is not included.

Note: If you have any questions or comments about this page, email us.

Year-specific dates

2015

See also: West Virginia elections, 2015

There are no regularly scheduled state executive, state legislative or congressional elections in West Virginia in 2015.

2014


Political parties

See also: List of political parties in the United States

As of February 2015, the state of West Virginia officially recognized four political parties. These are listed in the table below. In order to be recognized by the state, a political party must fulfill certain requirements, which are outlined below in "Process to establish a political party."[4]

Party Website link By-laws/platform link
Republican Party Official party website
Democratic Party Official party website Party platform
Libertarian Party Official party website Party by-laws
Mountain Party Official party website Party by-laws

In some states, a candidate may choose to have a label other than that of an officially recognized party appear alongside his or her name on the ballot. Such labels are called political party designations. A political party designation would be used when a candidate qualifies as an independent, but prefers to use a different label. West Virginia does allow candidates to identify in this way. A total of 25 states allow candidates to use political party designations in non-presidential elections.[5][6]

The 11 states listed below (and Washington, D.C.) do not provide a process for political organizations to gain qualified status in advance of an election. Instead, in these states, an aspirant party must first field candidates using party designations. If the candidate or candidates win the requisite votes, the organization may then be recognized as an official political party. In these states, a political party can be formed only if the candidate in the general election obtains a specific number of votes. The number of votes required and type of race vary from state to state. Details can be found on the state-specific requirements pages.[7]

Process to establish a political party

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 3 of the West Virginia Code

In West Virginia, a political party is any affiliation of voters representing any principle or organization which, at the last preceding general election, polled for its candidate for governor at least one percent of the total number of votes cast for all candidates for that office in the state.[8]

The state allows independent candidates to select a political designation apart from those recognized by the state. A brief name of the party which the candidate represents must not be longer than five words and must be specified on the candidate's nominating petition form.[9][10]


Process to become a candidate

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 3, Article 5 of the West Virginia Code

Figure 1: This is the Candidate Certificate of Announcement Form for federal, state, and county offices.

Political party candidates

Before raising money for a campaign, a Pre-Candidacy Registration Form must be filed. The form must identify a campaign treasurer, who will be responsible for the campaign's financial transactions. Every sum of money, item or service of value received, all expenditures made and liabilities incurred must be reported. A pre-candidate (i.e., someone who filed a Pre-Candidacy Registration Form) is required to file an annual report in accordance with the reporting schedule for campaign finances with the West Virginia Secretary of State.[11][12]

The candidate must file a Certificate of Announcement declaring candidacy with the West Virginia Secretary of State.[11][13]

The candidate must pay a filing fee, which is calculated as a percentage of the salary of the office sought.[11][14]

The candidate must also file a Candidate Financial Disclosure Statement with the West Virginia Ethics Commission within ten days of filing the Certificate of Announcement.[11]

Independent candidates

An independent candidate must gain authorization to collect petition signatures by obtaining an Official Credentials Form from the county clerk in each county in which the candidate wishes to collect signatures. This form must be presented to each voter canvassed or solicited.[11][15]

The candidate must obtain a Candidate Nomination Petition at the time of gaining authorization. The candidate must obtain signatures equaling at least 1 percent of the entire vote cast at the last preceding general election for the office being sought (or at least 25 signatures).[11][16][17]

The candidate must file the Certificate of Announcement, nominating petition, and filing fee with the appropriate office.[11][18]

Write-In candidates

A write-in candidate must file a Certificate of Announcement with the West Virginia Secretary of State. Write-in candidates are not listed on the ballot, but a list of official write-in candidates is posted at each polling place during early voting and on Election Day.[11]

A write-in candidate is not required to pay a filing fee or collect signatures.[11]

Filing fees

Office How the fee is determined Fee for 2014
Governor 1 percent of the office's annual salary N/A (office not up for election in 2014)
Lieutenant Governor 1 percent of the office's annual salary N/A
State executive offices 1 percent of the office's annual salary N/A
U.S. Senator 1 percent of the office's annual salary $1,740
Member of the U.S. House 1 percent of the office's annual salary $1,740
State Senator 1 percent of the office's annual salary $200
Member of the State House 1 percent of the office's annual salary $100


Petition requirements

In some cases, political parties and/or candidates may need to obtain signatures via the petition process to gain access to the ballot. This section outlines the laws and regulations pertaining to petitions and circulators.

Circulation requirements

General petition requirements related to a candidate's place on the ballot are established in Chapter 3-5-23 of the West Virginia Code. In particular, circulators must receive from the clerk of the county commission credentials which must be exhibited to each voter canvassed or solicited. If the office sought covers more than one county, a separate nominating petition must be used for each county.[19]

West Virginia permits candidates to begin circulating petitions as early as they wish. The relevant statutes do not stipulate a date on which petitions may begin to circulate.

Campaign finance

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: Chapter 3, Article 8 of the West Virginia Code

Each candidate must file a Candidate Financial Disclosure Statement with the West Virginia Ethics Commission within 10 days of filing the Certificate of Announcement.[11]

Each candidate campaign committee "shall keep detailed accounts of every sum of money or other thing of value received by him or her, including all loans of money or things of value and of all expenditures and disbursements made, liabilities incurred, by the candidate, financial agent, person, association or organization or committee, for political purposes or by any officers or members of the committee, or any person acting under its authority or on its behalf."[20]

Candidates and "all persons supporting, aiding or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate shall keep for a period of six months records of receipts and expenditures which are made for political purposes."[21]

The candidate committee should keep the receipts of all financial transactions for accounting purposes. The West Virginia Secretary of State or county clerk may conduct an audit, and the receipts would need to be presented for review.[22]

Campaign financial statement requirements

Each financial statement required by the reporting schedule, other than a disclosure of electioneering communications, must contain the following information:[23]

  • the name, residence and mailing address and telephone number of each candidate, financial agent, treasurer or person and the name, address and telephone number of each association, organization or committee filing a financial statement
  • the balance of cash and any other sum of money on hand at the beginning and the end of the period covered by the financial statement
  • the name of any person making a contribution and the amount of the contribution
  • the name, residence and mailing address of any individual or the name and mailing address of each lending institution making a loan
  • the name, residence and mailing address of any individual or the name and mailing address of each partnership, firm, association, committee, organization or group having previously made or cosigned a loan for which payment is made or a balance is outstanding at the end of the period, together with the amount of repayment on the loan made during the period and the balance at the end of the period
  • the total outstanding balance of all loans at the end of the period
  • the name, residence and mailing address of any person to whom each expenditure was made or liability incurred
  • the total expenditure for the nomination, election or defeat of a candidate or any person supporting, aiding or opposing the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate in whose behalf an expenditure was made or a contribution was given for the primary or other election
  • the total amount of expenditures made during the period covered by the financial statement

Campaign finance reporting

Each candidate is required to file campaign finance reports until the candidate's campaign committee is closed. The transaction period is the specific time period during which the committee must track all contributions and expenditures for campaign finance reports. Financial activity tracked during each transaction period must be recorded on the campaign financial statement and submitted during the appropriate time period in which the report is due.[11]

Contribution limits

A candidate may not receive more than $1,000 per primary election or $1,000 per general election from an individual contributor.[24]

Election-related agencies

See also: State election agencies

Candidates running for office will require some form of interaction with the following agencies:

  • West Virginia Secretary of State, Elections Division
Why: This agency provides and processes nominating petitions and candidate announcement forms.
Bldg. 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305-0770
Phone: 304-558-6000 or 866-SOS-VOTE
Election fraud hotline: 877-FRAUD-WV
Fax: 304-558-8386
Website: http://www.wvsos.com/elections/main.htm
Email: http://www.sos.wv.gov/Pages/contact-elections.aspx
  • West Virginia Ethics Commission
Why: This agency provides and processes campaign financial disclosure forms.
210 Brooks St
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304-558-0664
Website: http://www.ethics.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

Counties

An independent candidate must receive official credentials from the county clerk in each county in which he or she wishes to gather signatures. If a website is not provided in the table, it is because one does not exist for this municipality. To provide a link or information for the table below, please email us.

Term limits

State executives

Portal:State Executive Officials
See also: State executives with term limits and States with gubernatorial term limits

The state executive term limits in West Virginia are as follows:

  • The governor has a two-consecutive-term limit.

There were no state executive officials term-limited in 2014.

State legislators

See also: State legislatures with term limits

There are no term limits placed on West Virginia state legislators.

Congressional partisanship

Portal:Congress
See also: List of United States Representatives from West Virginia and List of United States Senators from West Virginia

Here is the current partisan breakdown of the congressional members from West Virginia:

Congressional Partisan Breakdown from West Virginia
Party U.S. Senate U.S. House Total
     Democratic Party 1 0 1
     Republican Party 1 3 4
TOTALS as of March 2015 2 3 5

State legislative partisanship

Portal:State legislatures

Here is the current partisan breakdown of members of the state legislature of West Virginia:

State Senate

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 16
     Republican Party 17
     Vacancy 1
Total 34

State house

Party As of March 2015
     Democratic Party 36
     Republican Party 64
Total 100


Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "West + Virginia + ballot + access"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

West Virginia ballot access news feed

  • Loading...

See also

External links

Official state and federal links

Forms

Other information

References

  1. West Virginia Secretary of State, "2014 Filing Period," accessed November 6, 2013
  2. West Virginia Secretary of State, "For Non-Party Affiliated Candidates," accessed November 6, 2013
  3. Phone call with West Virginia Secretary of State, October 9, 2013.
  4. West Virginia Secretary of State, "Recognized Political Parties in WV," accessed February 11, 2015
  5. West Virginia Code, "Section 3-5-23(d)," accessed December 4, 2013
  6. West Virginia Secretary of State, "Non-Party Affiliated Candidates," accessed December 4, 2013
  7. E-mail consultation with ballot access expert Richard Winger in January 2014.
  8. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-1-8," accessed February 4, 2015
  9. West Virginia Code, "Section 3-5-23(d)," accessed December 4, 2013
  10. West Virginia Secretary of State, "Non-Party Affiliated Candidates," accessed December 4, 2013
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 West Virginia Secretary of State, "Running for Office in West Virginia," accessed December 10, 2013
  12. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-8-5(e)," accessed December 10, 2013
  13. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-8-5," accessed December 10, 2013
  14. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-5-8," accessed December 10, 2013
  15. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-5-23," accessed December 10, 2013
  16. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-5-23," accessed December 10, 2013
  17. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-5-24," accessed December 10, 2013
  18. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-5-8," accessed December 10, 2013
  19. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-5-23," accessed December 31, 2013
  20. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-8-5," accessed December 20, 2013
  21. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-8-2," accessed December 10, 2013
  22. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-8-7," accessed December 10, 2013
  23. West Virginia Code, "Chapter 3-8-5(a)," accessed December 19, 2013
  24. West Virginia Code, "Title 3-8-12," accessed April 9, 2014