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Government, News

Morgantown’s choice to place municipal item on ballot is up to the county

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — Donald Kersey, director and deputy legal counsel of the West Virginia Secretary of State’s elections division, said the choice of whether a municipal item is placed on November’s general election ballot is ultimately up to the county.

As previously reported, Morgantown officials are working on an ordinance that would set a special election date and provide ballot language for a proposed change to the city’s founding document that would double the length of council elections from two to four years.

City administration has said it wishes to hold the special election in conjunction with November’s general election. Kersey was asked if such scenario was supported by state code.

“Regarding you question specifically, the short answer is yes — the proposed charter amendment may be presented at the General Election,” Kersey responded via email. “However, such is possible only upon agreement between the municipality and the county.”

Kersey went on to say that state code does not expressly prohibit or permit a municipality to share its “special municipal election” day with the county, but it does permit a municipality to call for a special election on the same day as county/state primary or general election.

“Therefore, by inference, if a municipality calls for a special municipal election on the same day as the County’s General Election Day in November, and the county and municipality agree on terms to submit the question to the municipal citizens at the General Election, then it is permissible,” Kersey explained.

County Clerk Carye Blaney said the city would first need to present its proposed charter amendment to the Monongalia County Commission seeking inclusion on the ballot.