WVEC is a member of the WV Citizens for Clean Election coalition (WVCCE), which is coordinated by Julie Archer.
During the 2020 Legislative Session, E-Council lobbyists helped Julie monitor bills relevant to WVCCE’s work to protect and improve democracy, fair courts, and judicial independence in West Virginia.
Right now WVCCE is focused on making sure people are ready to vote in the June 9 primary. If you aren’t already registered to vote, you have until May 19 to do that for this upcoming election.
Due to the pandemic, we are encouraging all registered voters to apply for an absentee ballot so you can safely vote by mail. If you didn’t receive an application for an absentee ballot in the mail, please contact your county clerk right away. See the WV Secretary of State’s website at GoVoteWV.com for more information.
We all know there’s a lot at stake this primary. We vote for who we hope to see as candidates on the ballot in November for President of the United States, the U.S. Senate and House, Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, and Commissioner of Agriculture, as well as State Senate and House of Delegates.
But did you know this is your only chance to vote for who we want on the WV Supreme Court of Appeals? We choose three (out of five total) Supreme Court Justices who will preside over the Court for years to come. We do not vote on this matter again in the General Election.
That’s why this election is vital. And it is vital we are better informed about our courts and the judicial candidates so that we can use our right to vote effectively — and we can help with that. Learn more about these elections and the judicial candidates at the new voter education website, www.wvcourtelections.org.
Decisions made by the state Supreme Court affect the life of every West Virginian. As Julie says, “The West Virginia Supreme Court races are among the most important on our June 9 ballot. Our courts are powerful, and they matter. Our rights as voters, workers, parents and community members depend on the decisions of our elected judges.”
Getting to know your judicial candidates is essential. Despite the significance of the state Supreme Court, tens of thousands of West Virginia voters didn’t participate in the past two judicial elections and missed a chance to have their voices heard. Many of those voters simply did not know enough about the candidates and how judicial elections work.
Supreme Court candidates run in divisions. A total of ten candidates have filed for the three seats.
Working together, the WV Citizens for Clean Elections and the WV Consumer Protection Alliance sent questionnaires to all ten candidates. As of this writing, seven of the ten have responded and their unedited answers are provided on the website. (Note that our goal is to provide information; the groups and the website do not advocate for the election or defeat of any candidate.)
“The West Virginia Supreme Court elections should be very important to voters. The court has the final say on the constitutionality and interpretation of West Virginia’s laws. The decisions it makes affect every West Virginian,” says Anthony Majestro, chair of WV Consumer Protection Alliance.
You Can Help!
Please help make certain people know about the importance of this election and how they can become informed voters. Talk up the website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@WVCCE) and share our posts. We also need you to write letters to the editor to your local papers. We have sample letters we can share with you, plus we are conducting a training on writing letters to the editor on May 13. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved in this effort.
Sample Posts You Can Share on Facebook or Twitter Right Now
- The judiciary is one of the most important instruments protecting us from social, economic, and political blows to our environment. As we prepare to elect an unprecedented 3 out of 5 justices to the #WV Supreme Court, we must also stay informed and use our right to vote to protect the world around us. wvcourtelections.org #wvpol #FairCourts #OurCourtOurVoteWV
- Maintaining #FairCourts is crucial for maintaining clean air and clean water. #WV State Supreme Court elections are battle grounds for special interest groups that want to control the courts for their economic and political interests. Know our court candidates. #wvpol #CourtsMatter #OurCourtOurVoteWV wvcourtelections.org
- If we care about clean air and clean water, we need to fight to reduce the effect of money and influence on judicial decision-making, stay informed about our courts and vote for fair-minded judges. #wvpol #OurCourtOurVoteWV #FairCourts wvcourtelections.org