Clean Elections Update & Good Government

The Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform is a set of common sense policy solutions that can help put our government on a path to solve problems that affect us all. This is not about Democrat vs. Republican; this is about fixing a broken system, and moving toward a government that’s more transparent, accountable, and responsive to the needs of ALL West Virginians.

Bills we support as part of the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform:

Give the public more information about who is influencing our elections and who is running 

  • SB 113 & SB 581 – Relating to certain election expenditure disclosures, would put an end to big money funneled through groups with secret donors by requiring disclosure of dark money political expenditures to allow the public to know who is paying for political advertisements. We deserve to know who is spending money to influence our votes and our elected representatives. (Status: Pending in Senate Judiciary)
  • SB 536 & HB 4073 – Would require caucus campaign committees to expedite disclosure of fundraising during a regular legislative session, interim session, or special session. These rules already apply to the legislative candidates they support. (Status: Pending in Senate and House Judiciary)
  • SB 397 & HB 4274 – Clarify the types of conduct that amount to coordination between a candidate and outside groups, and specify requirements for establishing firewalls to prohibit the flow of information between a candidate’s campaign and outside groups supporting that candidate’s election through rules proposed by the State Election Commission. (Status: Passed by House Judiciary as part of a rules bundle in HB 4252)
  • SB 119 – Would establish an online voters’ guide on the Secretary of State’s website, where voters could access contact and other information about candidates for statewide, legislative, and judicial offices. (Status: Pending in Senate Government Organization with a 2nd reference to Judiciary)

Protect and expand access to the polls, and increase voter participation 

  • SB 99 & HB 3077 – SB 99 would allow voters who register in person at the office of the County Clerk to register and vote on the same day during the early voting period.
  • HB 3077 would allow voters to register at polling places on Election Day. These proposals would act as a failsafe to protect eligible voters from improper voter roll purges. (Status: SB 99 is Pending in Senate Judiciary; HB 3077 is Pending in House Political Subdivisions with a 2nd reference to Judiciary)
  • HB 4742 – Would allow counties and municipalities to participate in a vote-by-mail program. Participating jurisdictions would mail ballots to eligible voters at home, allowing them to mail it back at their convenience or drop it off at a secure ballot deposit location. (Status: Pending in House Government Organization with a 2nd reference to Judiciary)

Nine of the top 10 states in turnout — those with turnout averaging 61 percent — offer same-day registration, full vote-by-mail (also known as “vote at home”), or both, according to a report by the nonprofit VOTE Foundation. By comparison, the bottom 10 states, which lack policies like these, had turnout averaging just over 43 percent, nearly 20 points lower.

Improve redistricting, representation, and participation 

  • SB 110 & HB 2445 – Would end gerrymandering by establishing an Independent Redistricting Commission to propose redistricting plans following the census and make the process of drawing legislative and congressional districts more transparent and impartial. (Status: Pending in Senate and House Judiciary with a 2nd reference to Finance in both houses) (HJR 108 & HJR 110 would establish a redistricting commission through a proposed amendment to the state constitution.)
  • SB 566 – Would roll back the disgraceful provisions of last year’s SB 622, which more than doubled (and in some instances quintupled or more) the limits on how much money one person can give to candidates, PACs, and political party committees, and restore contribution limits to pre-2019 levels. We have contribution limits to prevent corruption and to ensure that all West Virginians, no matter how much they make, have an equal voice and equal representation with their state elected officials. The new higher limits now in effect violate this fundamental principle of fairness by giving a greater voice to the wealthy and special interests that try to buy our elections, and that’s wrong! (Status: Pending in Senate Judiciary)
  • HB 2008 – Would reform judicial elections by requiring a run-off election be held when no candidate receives a majority of votes cast in the nonpartisan election of justices of the Supreme Court of Appeals. The important decision of who will serve on the state Supreme Court isn’t decided by a small plurality of voters. An alternative solution is ranked choice voting system in which voters rank candidates in order of preference and avoids potential drawbacks associated with run-off elections. (Status: Passed by House Judiciary, Pending in House Finance)

Good Government Lobby Day
Date: Monday, February 17th
Time: 9 AM – 2 PM

Join WV Citizens for Clean Elections for our first ever Good Government Lobby Day in support of our Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform. We will be participating in the 19th Amendment Centennial Celebration of the WV Ratification of the 19th Amendment at the State Capitol. It’s also President’s Day. If you have the day off, come lobby your legislators about common sense policy solutions that can move us toward a government that’s more transparent, accountable and responsive to the needs of ALL West Virginians.

  • Attend a policy briefing at 9 am in the Capitol cafeteria to learn more about the bills we’re supporting.
  • Meet with your legislators. (We recommend you call ahead to schedule an appointment.)
  • Participate in Centennial Celebration activities, which include exhibits and re-enactments related to women’s suffrage.

For more information, contact Andrew Caldwell at (304) 237-2860 or andrew@wvoter-owned.org.

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