WV Ballot Access Victory

On November 3, U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Goodwin, a Clinton appointee, ruled that West Virginia may not charge a filing fee for declared write-in candidates. Phillips v Hechler, civ 6:00-894. The ruling upset a law that had been passed in 1993. The basis for the ruling is that the purpose of a filing fee is to keep a ballot from being crowded with too many names. That rationale has no application for write-in candidates.

Gavel.The case was filed by Howard Phillips (Constitution Party presidential candidate), who was unable to qualify for the ballot, and who therefore depended on write-in votes in West Virginia. If the law had not been overturned, he would have had to pay $4,000 just to have his write-ins tallied (the fee is 1% of the annual salary of the office). The state has not yet said if it will appeal.

(From Ballot Access News.)