Less than a week has passed since Gov. Jim Justice switched his registration to the Republican Party, and one state Senate Democrat is already thinking about the path to a recall vote. Sen. Richard Ojeda, D-Logan, is drumming up support for a bill he wants to introduce in the next legislative session that would give citizens power to vote officials out of office during their term. “This isn’t a Republican-against-Democrat bill,” Ojeda said. “This is basically saying that any elected official in the state of West Virginia who is not living up to their promises and doing right by the people, the people should have a right to fire them. We always say that we work for you, the people. Well, if we work for the people, the people should have a right to fire us.”
Although he has not put together the official legislative language yet, he said the bill would allow citizens to gather signatures to petition for a recall. If they hit a certain percentage of the politician’s total number of votes from the election, it would trigger a recall election. If the public votes to recall, the state, county or town would then host a special election.
According to March 2016 research from the National Conference of State Legislatures, 19 states and Washington, D.C., permit the recall of state officials.
Mike Queen, a spokesman for Secretary of State Mac Warner, said he would not comment on the idea because he had not seen a complete draft of the legislation.