West Virginia House passes special election reform

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July 19, 2010

By Kyle Maichle

CHARLESTON, West Virginia: Members of the House of Delegates on July 17, 2010, approved their version of a bill changing special election procedures for filling US Senate vacancies[1].

House Bill 201 would change how special elections would be governed in the Mountaineer State. The bill passed by a 46-37 vote on its second consideration. The first consideration of the bill failed on a 45-42 vote with 13 delegates abstaining or not voting[1]. Some lawmakers raised objection with the scope of the legislation leading for the bill to fail on the first shot[1].

Despite the House version of the bill passed on it's second consideration, the legislation would not be effective until 90 days after the Governor signs it into law. The legislation that was originally called for by Governor Joe Manchin would ensure the framework for a special election in November of 2010 to fill Robert Byrd's U.S. Senate seat[1].

Members of the Senate passed their own version of the bill on the same day[1]. However, lawmakers race against a July 19, 2010, deadline to have all special election legislation approved[1]. The deadline is to ensure a August 28, 2010 primary before the special election scheduled for November 2, 2010[1].

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