West Virginia: Senate approves with amendments House bill to move to nonpartisan judicial elections; judges would run for individual seats

Earlier today the West Virginia Senate approved HB 2010, a plan to end the state’s practice of electing judges on partisan ballots. Under the new system judges would also run from divisions; under the current practice judges run in a “cattle call” thus if there are two vacancies on the Supreme Court it is the top 2 vote getters who win. Future elections would be for specifically designated seats (e.g. Circuit Court, Seat B).

The House approved HB 2010 on February 4 on a 90-9 vote. The Senate Judiciary committee made several amendments to the bill and that Senate-amended version was approved earlier today. The bill now goes back to the House to accept the Senate amendments.