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The 2020 legislative session has begun and we’re ready to fight for a democracy that works for everyone — a democracy where everyone participates, every vote is counted, and everyone’s voice is heard.
This year, our goal is to elevate and build support for the Pro-Democracy, Anti-Corruption Platform with emphasis on priority planks for WV Citizens for Clean Elections partners and allies. These include:
- Putting an end to big money funneled through groups with secret donors by requiring disclosure of dark money political expenditures to allow the public to know who is paying for political advertisements. We deserve to know who is spending money to influence our votes and our elected representatives.
- Changing the rules and make the process of drawing legislative and congressional districts transparent and impartial by establishing an independent redistricting commission rather than allowing legislators to draw the maps that govern their own elections.
- Supporting laws and policies like Same Day Registration and Vote-by-Mail aimed at making voting more accessible and eliminating unnecessary barriers to the ballot box.
- Reforming judicial elections so that the important decision of who will serve on the state Supreme Court isn’t decided by a small plurality of voters. Options include holding a run-off election if no candidate receives a majority of votes cast or using a ranked choice voting system in which voters rank candidates in order of preference.
Several bills that advance the goals of the platform have already been introduced.
In addition to fighting for increased accountability and transparency in West Virginia elections, limiting the influence of big-money in politics, and making voting more accessible to all citizens we’re also prepared to push back against measures that would undermine the independence of the judiciary and provide more opportunities to pack the courts. This includes proposals to establish an unnecessary intermediate court of appeals (ICA), and create the first bench of unelected judges in the history of West Virginia.
However, we can’t advance commonsense policy solutions that can move us towards a government that’s more transparent, accountable, and responsive to the needs of ALL West Virginians without your support. We’re counting on you to be active and engaged this session – whether in the form of a visit to the Capitol for citizen lobbying, or your calls, emails, and letters to your legislators – so please watch for updates and calls to action over the next several weeks.