News Release – For Immediate Release, April 27, 2020
NEW VOTER EDUCATION WEBSITE FOR 2020 WV SUPREME COURT ELECTIONS
Learn about Judicial Candidates at www.wvcourtelections.org
Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia voters will elect three justices to the West Virginia Supreme Court in the primary election, now scheduled for June 9. Voters can learn more about these elections and the judicial candidates at the new voter education website, www.wvcourtelections.org.
The West Virginia Court Elections website is a joint project of West Virginia Citizens for Clean Elections and the West Virginia Consumer Protection Alliance. The website does not expressly advocate for the election or defeat of any candidate.
Supreme Court candidates run in divisions. A total of 10 candidates have filed for the three seats. All 10 candidates were invited to complete a questionnaire for the website. Their unedited answers are provided on the website.
“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. It is imperative that we are better informed about our courts and the judicial candidates so that we can use our right to vote effectively,” said Julie Archer, coordinator of West Virginia Citizens for Clean Elections.
“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,” said Anthony Majestro, chair of West Virginia Consumer Protection Alliance. “We want to help state voters better understand the importance of these elections and give them information from the candidates. We hope this website helps them make more informed decisions when they vote.”
Both the 2016 and 2018 elections included elections to the West Virginia Supreme Court. The returns show that thousands of West Virginians opted to not vote in Supreme Court races.
“We want to be sure that voters know about these races, how important they are and the candidates who are running. We hope that it encourages more voters to participate in these elections and help them make more informed decisions when they do,” said Archer.
In 2018 general election, 597,149 total West Virginia voters cast ballots. The 2018 West Virginia Supreme Court special election was held in conjunction with that general election. In Division 1, only 503,940 people voted. This is an undervote of 93,209, 15.61 percent of total ballots. In Division 2, 505,716 people voted. This is an undervote of 91,433, 15.31 percent of total ballots.
The 2016 West Virginia Supreme Court race was held as part of the 2016 West Virginia Primary Election. While 495,407 voters casts ballots, only 409,542 voted in the supreme court race. This was an undervote of 85,865, 17.33 percent of total ballots.