here will be several changes during the 2016 election process in West Virginia. For the first time, West Virginia voters will choose their judges during next May’s primary election without any indications of political party affiliations on the ballots. The state law allowing for nonpartisan judicial elections officially took effect in June. The change will apply to elections, by division, for the state Supreme Court along with circuit court, family court and magistrate court. “That’ll be a big change for the voters. Now they’re not in the bulk of the ballot on the front where it’s partisan races. They actually shift to the back as non-partisan races, such as school board and different items like that,” said Putnam County Clerk Brian Ward, who spoke to MetroNews during a statewide election planning conference Monday in Charleston.
The conference was hosted by West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant at the Embassy Suites Hotel. Wood was one of many county clerks attending the two-day event. He said another change voters can expect in 2016 will be the doing away with straight-ticket voting.
With that voting, a voter can make one mark, either electronically or on a paper ballot and vote for a party’s full list of candidates. The change requires voters to consider each race individually.