West Virginia

Articles about voting issues in West Virginia.

West Virginia: Warner alleges Tennant sabotaged secretary of state office changeover | Charleston Gazette-Mail

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner alleged Thursday that his predecessor, Natalie Tennant, directed employees to “sabotage” the office’s transition to Warner’s administration. Tennant called Warner’s allegations “ridiculous.” “The only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner, and that’s what you have here,” Tennant said. On Thursday afternoon, Warner’s chief deputy issued a news release, claiming Tennant instructed staffers to disrupt the changeover. An hour later, Warner’s deputy, Mike Queen, put out a second news release, asking media outlets to disregard the previous release. The second release included many of the same allegations, but provided more details. Read More

West Virginia: Secretary of State, Incoming Successor Quarrel Over Hacking Claims | Government Technology

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant and Secretary of State-Elect Mac Warner are sparring over claims that the Department of Homeland Security attempted to “hack” into West Virginia election records. Warner encouraged President-elect Donald Trump to pursue an immediate investigation into “recorded hacking attempts” of voter files in West Virginia, according to a statement released early Sunday morning. Warner said the attempts were recorded by firewall protection software Nov. 7 and Oct. 29. “Upon taking office, this issue will be at the top of our list to investigate and respond appropriately,” Warner wrote. “DHS holds a responsibility to be transparent with the hacking details, objective and intent of action with the information.” Tennant said Warner’s statements were false in a statement Sunday afternoon. On Oct. 29 an invalid website address was used in an attempt to reach West Virginia’s Statewide Voter Registration System. She said the DHS IP address Warner is questioning viewed public election night results on Nov. 7. Read More

West Virginia: Cabell County clerk ordered to honor online registrations | Charleston Gazette-Mail

A federal judge in Huntington on Tuesday sided with lawyers from West Virginia’s chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and ordered the Cabell County clerk to permit online voter registration within the county. Chief U.S. District Judge Robert Chambers found that by not honoring the state’s electronic voter registration system, Cabell Clerk Karen Cole is violating the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Residents in every other West Virginia county but Cabell have been able to successfully use the electronic system, ACLU lawyers wrote in the lawsuit they filed last week. Following the ruling, Cole said she would immediately begin registering voters who used the online system. Cole will mail those people voter registration cards and letters stating they don’t have to take any additional steps to be able to vote Nov. 8. Read More

West Virginia: ACLU files lawsuit over online voter registration in Cabell County | Charleston Gazette-Mail

The West Virginia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit Thursday against Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole, claiming her refusal to recognize and permit online voter registration within the county violates the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Residents in every other West Virginia county but Cabell, the lawsuit states, are able to successfully use the electronic voter registration system through the Secretary of State’s website. And Cabell is one of the top five counties in the state where prospective voters have used the online system, according to the complaint, which was also filed by the national ACLU’s Voting Rights Project and Charleston lawyer Anthony Majestro. The organizations filed the complaint, which seeks class-action status, on behalf of Allison Mullins, who recently moved to Cabell County to attend Marshall University. Mullins used the Secretary of State’s website to update her voter registration information prior to the Oct. 18 deadline, the lawsuit states. Her “information was not and will not be processed by Defendant Cole without action from this Court,” her lawyers wrote. Read More

West Virginia: Officials believe lenient voter ID law safe | Charleston Gazette-Mail

While federal courts have recently overturned voter ID laws in five states on the grounds they discriminate against minorities and the poor, the lead sponsor and primary author of West Virginia’s voter ID legislation said he believes that law would stand up in court. “We took, I think, great care in drafting the language within the perimeters laid out in the U.S. Supreme Court decisions in the last 10 to 12 years,” said Delegate Patrick Lane, R-Kanawha. As a practical matter, Lane believes the West Virginia law — which takes effect for the 2018 elections — so broadly defines acceptable types of identification, opponents would be hard-pressed to find someone disenfranchised by it. “I would be surprised if there was a challenge in West Virginia,” he said. “It would be hard for someone not to be able to meet those requirements.” Read More

West Virginia: Fayette County will stick with paper ballots | Fayette Tribune

Fayette County’s General Election results in November should come in more quickly than they did in this month’s primary, but for the county commission, moving away from paper ballots completely is not a viable option. County Clerk Kelvin Holliday said all three early voting locations will offer only electronic voting in November. Earlier this month it took county employees more than three hours just to run early voting and absentee ballots through the paper ballot machine. Final results were not released until after 3 a.m. The county expects to have six iVotronic voting machines in Fayetteville for early voting, which is the busiest of the three early voting locations. By switching to electronic early voting, they hope ballot counting time will be cut down, but making the entire election electronic voting only isn’t possible. Read More

West Virginia: ACLU requests information from county clerks on online voter registration | Charleston Gazette-Mail

The American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia filed requests this week with the clerks of Cabell and Kanawha counties for information about their handling of the online voter registration system. On May 3, the same day it was filed, the state Supreme Court rejected an emergency petition from the ACLU, which was filed over the refusal by Kanawha Clerk Vera McCormick and Cabell Clerk Karen Cole to accept online voter registration in advance of the May 10 primary election. Attorneys with the ACLU argue that the clerks can’t reject the online voter registrations without violating the equal protection clause in the state and U.S. constitutions, and that denying online registration threatens the integrity of a statewide election. “Right now, we’re evaluating our options and deciding how best to go forward,” said Jamie Lynn Crofts, lead attorney for the ACLU. “We don’t currently have any lawsuit pending but we want to keep track of what’s going on and perhaps file another lawsuit in the future.” Read More

West Virginia: Voting problems in Kanawha County may be growing | Charleston Gazette-Mail

The issue of people voting in the wrong delegate district may be bigger than the Kanawha County Clerk originally thought. Vera McCormick’s staff was able to identify 10 people who originally voted in the wrong district — one in Precinct 416, two in Precinct 175, five in Precinct 403 and two in Precinct 277. The problem comes from voters being placed in precincts that don’t correspond with the delegate district in which they live. The clerk’s office has arranged it so that when people from affected areas come in to vote, they will receive a ballot for the correct delegate district. But the problem may be bigger than what McCormick originally stated. Read More

West Virginia: High court rejects suit over online voter registration | The Herald Dispatch

A lawsuit filed Tuesday against clerks in Cabell and Kanawha counties questioning whether or not they had the right to deny online voter registration was rejected by the West Virginia Supreme Court later Tuesday afternoon. Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole said she received an official statement Tuesday afternoon from the West Virginia Supreme Court saying the petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of West Virginia had been rejected. … The online registration was rolled out at the end of September after the Legislature passed a bill in 2013 allowing it. To register online, including changing an address or party affiliation, residents must have a driver’s license and the last four digits of their Social Security number. A person’s signature is then pulled from the Division of Motor Vehicles website to authorize the changes. Majestro said these steps provide more than enough security measures to ensure voter fraud does not take place. Read More

West Virginia: State May Become 3rd Automatic Voter Signup State | Associated Press

A push to automatically sign up voters that began with new laws in Oregon and California will soon likely hit a third, notably less liberal state — West Virginia. The proposed change has taken a less-than-conventional route to the governor’s desk. After condemning a Republican voter ID bill as the “voter suppression act,” Democrats offered an amendment to include automatic registration when people get driver’s licenses or IDs. The Republican-led Legislature accepted it without much resistance. The reception was much cooler on the West Coast — only one Republican in California and none in Oregon voted for similar automatic registration setups. And in New Jersey, Republican Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a similar proposal cleared by Democrats last year. Read More