League of Women Voters-WV Comments on the Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

The following statement was read at the EPA hearing in Charleston on Nov. 28 in support of the Clean Power Plan and against its repeal:

Repealing the Clean Power Plan puts the interests of corporate polluters ahead of the health and safety of the American public. The EPA’s own analysis shows that the benefits of the Clean Power Plan significantly outweigh the costs, and that its repeal will have a devastating impact on the planet at a time when we are seeing and experiencing the powerful effects of climate change in the form of rising temperatures, deadly hurricanes and floods, extreme droughts, and destructive wildfires. The League is appalled at this irresponsible decision that will have a long-term devastating impact on our planet and health of the American people.

LWV-WV members Barbara Brown and Vicki Conner of Morgantown show their support for the Clean Power Plan at the Sierra Club's Hearing for Healthy Communities.

Instead of repealing the Clean Power Plan, the EPA must strengthen the targets it currently sets, expand its scope to strengthen advancement toward clearer fuels and new technologies, and empower it to make energy companies and their investors pay for a comprehensive and just transition that reinvests in communities like those in West Virginia and Appalachia that have historically relied on fossil-fuel based industries, and in the working class communities and communities of color here and across the country that have been disproportionately affected by the impacts of fossil fuel pollution and climate change.

Additionally, because the repeal of the Clean Power Plan will have deep impacts in these communities, the EPA must commit to holding further hearings in affected communities beyond West Virginia. To only hold hearings on the repeal of a policy that has national impacts in one state, and not in others, is undemocratic, unconscionable and unfair.

The continued emission of carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases threaten the lives, health, and well-being of Americans and people worldwide. The effects of climate change are real and serious, and by repealing the Clean Power Plan and failing to take action to reduce these emissions we do so at our own peril.

We are already seeing and feeling the effects of our warming planet when we experience more severe weather like this year’s deadly hurricanes and devastating wildfires, and other extreme weather events closer to home like the 2012 derecho and last year’s historic floods. All of these come with costs to human lives; damage and destruction of property and infrastructure, and higher costs to governments, taxpayers, and those who respond to these disasters and work to repair the damages.

A warming climate also poses numerous risks for public health. Extreme heat can be a killer. Higher temperatures contribute to poor air quality including smog, a contributor to respiratory problems, as well as increased production and wider dispersion of allergens. Diseases may be spread more readily from an increased number of insects that would have been killed in colder winters, and more outbreaks of waterborne diseases such as cholera are expected. Those most vulnerable to climate related health effects — children, the elderly, the poor, and future generations — face disproportionate risks. Repeal of the Clean Power Plan ignores these risks and the major health benefits of reducing carbon and other other emissions that can harm human health.

The CPP would be one of the United States’ most effective ways to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases, with less disturbance to the economy than some other proposals and with substantial benefits for the health and welfare of the American people. The United States has been known in the past for its innovative approaches to problems. The use of clean and renewable sources of energy has expanded tremendously in the last few years. These sources have the potential to make up a larger share of our electricity production – while reducing emissions and keeping the supply of electric power affordable and reliable. 

By repealing the CPP we are saying that the United States no longer has the capacity to meet these challenges. We will have decided that we can live with 19th and 20th century technology in the 21st century. We will allow China and other countries to take over the role of pioneer in new technology and production of energy. The longer we put off reducing our CO2 and methane from power production, the bigger the problem will become to solve and we will have to take more onerous steps.

We must consider the lives, health, and welfare of future generations, and we must act now. To leave a warming climate and all its consequences to our children and grandchildren is unconscionable. Living for today rather than planning for tomorrow is considered to be frivolous. Do we want historians to label us as immoral and frivolous? If Aesop’s fable about the Grasshoppers and the Ants were applied to us, we would be the Grasshoppers because we were not willing to take steps today to plan for the future and protect our climate.

November 2017 Morgantown Newsletter

TALK TO YOUR LEGISLATORS!

PUBLIC FORUM

On Monday, December 11, from 7 to 9 p.m. our League will host a Legislators Forum, co-sponsored by OLLI. It will be held at the Mountaineer Mall, in OLLI Classroom A. The forum is designed to let the legislators tell the public what their priorities and proposals are for the upcoming Legislative session, and for them to hear from you about your hopes, needs and concerns. In the past this forum has led to very fruitful discussions between the public and the legislators.

Two senators and five delegates from our area have been invited: Robert Beach, Roman Prezioso, Jr., Barbara Fleischauer, Cindy Frich, Rodney Pyles, Joe Statler, and John Williams.

The legislators will be given four minutes to discuss their interests in the upcoming session, and the public will then have the opportunity to ask questions and voice their concerns. After the forum there will be coffee and cookies and time to talk individually with the legislators. Please plan to come!

EPA Announces Public Hearing on Repeal of the Clean Power Plan

The EPA will hold a public hearing on the proposal to repeal the Clean Power Plan in Charleston, WV on Nov 28-29. The hearing will potentially be extended into Nov 30 if enough people register to speak at the meetings. This is the only public hearing that is planned, and it is being held in Charleston “the heart of coal country” to hear from those most impacted by the CPP and get their comments on the proposed Repeal Rule. Scott Pruitt, EPA Administrator stated that he looked forward to hearing from all stakeholders.

Persons wishing to speak at the public hearing to be held by the EPA in Charleston on November 28-29 must be registered by Nov 16 and will be notified about time slots on Nov 17. Written comments are also being solicited and “will be given the same weight as oral comments” according to the EPA. Written comments must be submitted by Jan. 16. Comments should be identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0355 and may be submitted by one of the methods listed on the Clean Power Plan Proposed Repeal: How to Comment web page.

The LWV-US has issued the following statement. “By repealing the Clean Power Plan, the White House is putting the interests of corporate polluters ahead of the health and safety of the American public. This decision will have a devastating impact on the planet at a time when we are seeing the powerful climate change effects with rising temperatures, deadly hurricanes and destructive wildfires. The League is appalled at this irresponsible decision that will have a long-term devastating impact on our planet and health of the American people.” The LWVWV and local Leagues are encouraging individuals to attend the hearings in Charleston and/or to submit written comments.

October Membership Meeting

We were very lucky to have Mr. Donald “Deak” Kersey as our speaker for the Membership Meeting in October. He gave us a lot of good information about how voter rolls are maintained, including the fact that the Secretary of State’s office never removes people from the rolls. County Clerks are responsible for determining whether a person should be removed, and Mr. Kersey provided information on the various ways that determination is made. For example, they receive information from the US Postal Service about people who have moved, use two national databases to check for duplication of voters, and receive death notices. Mr. Kersey also gave us information about how WV protects our on-line voter data, including the fact that we have a highly trained cybersecurity professional who monitors our systems daily and who has a high-level security clearance which makes it possible for him to be in direct communication with the Department of Homeland Security when necessary. He also reassured us that no voting machines in WV are connected to the internet, so there is no opportunity for a person to hack into them to change votes or otherwise impact the recording and tallying of votes. He also told us that West Virginia is being presented nationally as an example of how systems should be maintained to insure election integrity. At the end of his presentation, Mr. Kersey briefly reviewed the new law about voter ID which goes into effect January 1, 2018. There is further discussion of voter ID in this newsletter.

The video filmed at our Membership Meeting, Election Integrity in WV with Elections Director Donald Kersey, is available at https://youtu.be/f05v4lIDyjc .

 Elections & Voter ID – a Primer (from Wood County LWV)

Though no statewide elections are scheduled until the Primary next May, there is a change coming that merits attention. Starting January 1st, WV voters will be required to present some form of identification at the polls.

This change originated in 2016 in the House of Delegates as a strict photo ID law of the sort that has been the subject of much controversy over whether its purpose is actually to suppress voting by certain groups. The introduced bill was amended so that WV voters will have a long list of documents that will be considered a “valid identifying document.” The law takes effect January 1, 2018.

Voters need to know of the change and what they need to take to the polls. The Secretary of State plans a statewide education effort, which the law requires. To that end, the Secretary convened a meeting recently with representatives of a broad range of groups and constituencies represented, including representatives of the LWV of WV, to gather information about how best to inform voters of the change and assure that no one is denied their right to vote because of a lack of ID.

The Secretary’s staff plans to make materials such as posters available for wide distribution as well as encouraging civic groups and media to help inform voters. The staff includes field representatives in locations around the state who will be part of the educational efforts.

As League members, we will get asked about this change. My short answer has been, take your wallet with you when you vote and you will surely have one of these documents with you. This will work for most of us, but not everyone. There are people entitled to vote who have none of them, and there are options for them. See the next section for acceptable “valid identifying documents” and you will be ready to answer questions.

Valid Identifying Documents

A document with the voter’s name that was issued by the State of WV or its subsidiaries or the US Government, OR one of the following:
Must be valid (not expired) and have the voter’s name
 Driver’s license
 Passport or passport card
 A photo employee, student, or military ID or concealed carry permit
 Medicare or Social Security card
 Birth certificate
 Voter registration card
 Hunting or fishing license
 An ID card for SNAP or TANIF or Medicaid benefits
 Health insurance card
 Bank or debit card
 Utility bill or bank statement (from within 6 months of election)

Residents of licensed care facilities are exempt from ID requirements. There is no change in absentee voting procedures.

There are two options for those with no ID, an affidavit from someone who knows and accompanies the voter and for someone known personally by the poll worker.

Registered voters will also be able to get a free photo “Voter ID” card through their county

clerk’s office with no further documentation than is required for being a registered voter. (A state issued photo ID is available through DMV, but requires more documentation.)

Homeless people may use the address of a shelter to register to vote.

Anyone who appears at the polls and is denied a ballot is entitled to cast a provisional ballot, the validity of which will be evaluated in the canvass following the election.

For the complete bill, see: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=03&art=1&section=34#01

Looking Ahead!

We would like to invite people to the All Kinds Are Welcome Here Lobby Day, on February 8, 2018.  LWV-WV is a co-sponsor for the event along with ACLU-WV, WV FREE, Fairness WV, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, Rainbow Pride of WV, and WV Citizen Action Group (so far). Two of our members attended last year– let’s increase that number in 2018! 

LWVMM November 2017 Newsletter

Huntington League’s November Bulletin

HOW MUCH DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THE ELECTIONS PROCESS?

pdf iconNov LWV newsletter.pdf

New Voter ID Law Summary – Begins January 1, 2018

W. Va. Code § 3-1-34 RE: New Valid Identifying Documents Requirement
Link: http://www.legis.state.wv.us/WVCODE/ChapterEntire.cfm?chap=03&art=1&section=34#01

Why do we need to design and implement a statewide education program?

Under W. Va. Code § 3-1-34(a)(9), “Prior to the primary and general elections to be held in calendar year
2018, the Secretary of State shall educate voters about the requirement to present a valid identifying
document and develop a program to help ensure that all eligible voters are able to obtain a valid
identifying document.”

New Requirements for In-Person Voting

For elections occurring on or after January 1, 2018, the person desiring to vote:

  1.  Shall present to one of the poll clerks a valid identifying document meeting the requirements of this subsection;
  2. The poll clerk shall inspect and confirm that the name on the valid identifying document conforms to the name in the individual’s voter registration record; and
  3. If the valid identifying document contains a photograph, the image displayed shall “truly” be an image of the person presenting the document.

“Valid Identifying Document” defined:
A document shall be deemed to be a “valid identifying document” if it:

  1. Contains the voter’s name and was issued either by the State of West Virginia, one of its subsidiaries, or by the United States Government; or
  2. Falls into one of the following categories:

(A) A valid West Virginia driver’s license or valid West Virginia identification card issued by the West
Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles;

(B) A valid driver’s license issued by a state other than the State of West Virginia;

(C) A valid United States passport or passport card;

(D) A valid employee identification card with a photograph of the eligible voter issued by any branch, department, agency, or entity of the United States Government or of the State of West Virginia, or by any county, municipality, board, authority, or other political subdivision of West Virginia;

(E) A valid student identification card with a photograph of the eligible voter issued by an institution of higher education in West Virginia, or a valid high school identification card issued by a West Virginia high school;

(F) A valid military identification card issued by the United States with a photograph of the person desiring to vote;

(G) A valid concealed carry (pistol/revolver) permit issued by the sheriff of the county with a photograph of the person desiring to vote;

(H) A valid Medicare card or Social Security card;

(I) A valid birth certificate;

(J) A valid voter registration card issued by a county clerk in the State of West Virginia;

(K) A valid hunting or fishing license issued by the State of West Virginia;

(L) A valid identification card issued to the voter by the West Virginia Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program;

(M) A valid identification card issued to the voter by the West Virginia Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program;

(N) A valid identification card issued to the voter by West Virginia Medicaid;

(O) A valid bank card or valid debit card;

(P) A valid utility bill issued within six months of the date of the election;

(Q) A valid bank statement issued within six months of the date of the election; or

(R) A valid health insurance card issued to the voter.

Three (3) Exceptions to the Requirement for Presenting a Valid Identifying Document:

Exception 1: Affidavit by an Adult with Knowledge

In lieu of providing a valid identifying document a registered voter may:

  1. Be accompanied at the polling place by an adult known to the registered voter for at least six months;
  2. That adult shall present a valid identifying document with his or her name, address, and photograph;
  3. That adult then signs an affidavit on a form provided by the Secretary of State, which states under oath or affirmation that the adult has known the registered voter for at least six months and that, in fact, the registered voter is the same person who is present for the purpose of voting.

Exception 2: Personal Knowledge of a Poll Worker

No valid identifying document or affidavit is required and a voter shall be permitted to vote without presenting a valid identifying document if a poll worker has known for at least six months. (Note: the Code provides the exact affidavit language, which is at the end of this document)

Exception 3: Precinct Polling Places of Residents living in State Licensed Care Facilities.

A voter who votes in person at a precinct polling place that is located in a building which is part of a state licensed care facility where the voter is a resident is not required to provide proof of identification as a condition before voting in an election.

Anticipated Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

What happens if a voter does not have a valid identifying document or is not accompanied by an adult with knowledge? Or, what if the proof of identification does not qualify as a valid identifying document?

The voter may still vote! However, the voter must cast a provisional ballot and sign an affidavit affirming his or her identity (the same affidavit will be used for an adult with knowledge, mentioned above in Exception 2—the affidavit language is in the Code).

If a voter casts a provisional ballot, will it be counted?

The ultimate determination is up to the Board of Canvassers. However, under the direction of the Code, the provisional ballot is entitled to be counted once the election authority verifies the identity of the individual by comparing that individual’s signature to the current signature on file with the election authority and determines that the individual was otherwise eligible to cast a ballot at the polling place where the ballot was cast.

Poll workers and adults with knowledge (Exceptions 1 and 2 above) have a lot of authority and deference—what happens if someone misuses this authority and falsifies a voter identity affidavit?

They can be charged with a crime.

Under W. Va. Code § 3-1-34(h), “Any person making an oath or affirmation required under the provisions of this section who knowingly swears falsely or any person who counsels, advises, aids or abets another in the commission of false swearing under this section, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000 or confined in jail for a period of not more than one year, or both fined and confined.”

What happens to a voter’s registration in the Statewide Voter Registration System if a voter signs a voter identity affidavit (because the voter did not provide a valid identifying document)?

The county clerk (or his or her agent/employee) shall indicate in the Statewide Voter Registration System to simply indicate that a voter has not presented a valid identifying document. No further action shall be taken. (See W. Va. Code § 3-1-34(a)(7).

What if a voter is participating in the Address Confidentiality Program appears in-person and has to execute a voter identity affidavit? Will their address confidentiality be compromised?

Absolutely not. The program participant’s residential or mailing address is still subject to the confidentiality provisions of W. Va. Code § 48-28a-108, and the Secretary of State’s office should be notified to guarantee confidentiality.

Voter Identity Affidavit for Proof of Identification

State of West Virginia

County of __________________

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that my name is
______________________________________; that I
reside at _________________________________________________________________; and that I
the person listed in the precinct register under this name and at this address.

I understand that knowingly providing false information is a violation of law and subjects me to possible criminal prosecution
________________________________________
Signature of voter

Subscribed and affirmed before me this ________day of _______________________, 20___

__________________________________
Name of Election Official

____________________________________
Signature of Election Official

This summary was compiled by Donald Kersey, Elections Directory and Deputy Legal Counsel, from the Office of WV Secretary of State Mac Warner for the 1st stakeholders meeting (November 6, 2017) concerning public education about the new Voter ID.

Wood County Voter November – December 2017

Information about WV’s Voter ID law that goes into effect for 2018 elections and upcoming events: Movie “Where to Invade Next” from filmmaker Michael Moore on Saturday, November 18 at the South Parkersburg Library and a Holiday get-together on December 9. Details in the Voter.

pdf iconNovember – December 2017 Voter pdf.pdf

Video: Election Integrity in WV with Elections Director Donald Kersey

Video produced by West TV (footage – Jonathan Rosenbaum) at LWVMM’s fall membership meeting on Wednesday, October 18.

Huntington League’s October Bulletin

MEETING – AMERICA’S BEST COMMUNITY, HUNTINGTON’S INNOVATIVE PROJECT

pdf iconbulletin.10.17.pdf

Decision on FirstEnergy’s Bad Deal for WV Coming Soon – Speak Out Now!

The WV Public Service Commission is considering whether FirstEnergy can transfer a power plant from one subsidiary company to another subsidiary company. The PSC heard from more than 100 people during public hearings and received more than 2,000 written protests.

Now is a critical time and we need your help.

If you are a Mon Power or Potomac Edison customer and have not submitted a letter to the PSC, please go on the record with your opposition to FirstEnergy’s bailout. Below are links to talking points and other resources to help frame your arguments. Need help writing a letter to the PSC? Just reply to this email and we’ll help you out.

Online Resources to Help You Write Your Letter to the PSC:

A decision from the PSC on this Bad Deal for WV is coming soon, and if FirstEnergy gets its way, Mon Power and Potomac Edison customers will be on the hook for the $400 MILLION and pay higher rates.

Letters can be mailed or FAXed to the PSC as follows:

Public Service Commission of West Virginia
Ingrid Ferrell, Executive Secretary
201 Brooks Street
Charleston, WV 25301
FAX: (304) 340-0325

Please reference Case No. 17-0296-E-PC. 

Please take action today. Tell the PSC to say NO to FirstEnergy’s bailout scheme.

EPA Funding Letter to Senators Capitol and Manchin

The LWV-WV and other organizations sent the following letter urging our Senators to support the continuation of the 2017 appropriations for key EPA programs that help West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

October 16, 2017

The Honorable Joe Manchin III                                   The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito
306 Hart Senate Office Building                                  172 Russell Senate Office Building           
Washington DC 20510                                                   Washington DC 20510                    

Dear Senators Manchin and Capito,

West Virginia Rivers Coalition and the undersigned West Virginia organizations, are concerned about the federal appropriations that designate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s allocations for state programs that manage the protection of water quality. We urge you to support the continuation of the 2017 appropriations for key programs that help West Virginia’s rivers and streams.

The U.S. House of Representatives appropriation for the Interior, Environment and Related Agencies bill reduced funding for EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. The Bay Program is significant in its six-state cooperative effort that affects 180,000 miles of streams and rivers and 18 million people. We are pleased that West Virginia, which comprises the headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay watershed, is part of that effort. We are also cognizant of the benefits of water clean-up programs in West Virginia supported by Bay Program funds. We believe the reduction of support for the Bay Program in the House appropriations bill will be detrimental to West Virginians in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. We request that you maintain the 2017 funding level of $73 million in the 2018 appropriations, and support last year’s requirement that $6 million of this allocation go for Small Watershed Grants and $6 million for Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grants. These grant programs alone have brought in approximately $5 million since 2010 for projects in West Virginia.

We also are concerned about policy “riders” added to the bill in the House. Restricting efforts to clean up our waters is not a benefit for our citizens and may cause costly future clean ups for the public to bear.  Here are a few examples that stand to place West Virginia’s waters at risk:

  • Prohibiting EPA from enforcing the Chesapeake Bay TMDL on states that are not implementing their own clean-up plans. This would shift pollution reduction responsibilities from states like PA to headwater states, such as WV.
  • Prohibiting EPA from ensuring mining companies are financially capable of cleaning up pollution that operations cause to the land and water.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to issue any regulation under the Solid Waste Disposal Act that applies to an animal feeding operation.
  • Prohibiting the use of funds to require permits for the discharge of dredged or fill material for certain agricultural activities.
  • Authorizing the withdrawal of the Waters of the United States Rule without regard to any provision of statute or regulation that establishes a requirement for such withdrawal.

Thank you for considering these concerns. Please fully fund essential EPA programs and reject riders that put the future quality of our water supplies at risk.

Angie Rosser, Executive Director
West Virginia Rivers Coalition

George Santucci, Executive Director
New River Conservancy

Cynthia Ellis, President
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy

Charles Marsh, President
Sleepy Creek Watershed Association

Gary Zuckett, Executive Director
West Virginia Citizen Action Group

Sherry Evasic, President
Blue Heron Environmental Network

Julie Archer, Co-founder
West Virginia Surface Owners Rights Organization

Natalie Thompson, Executive Director
Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition

Judy Rodd, Executive Director
Friends of Blackwater

John Bird, Conservation Chair
West Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club

Brent Walls
Upper Potomac Waterkeeper

Jonathan Rosenbaum, President
League of Women Voters of West Virginia

 Senate EPA Funding Letter 10.16.17

Without disclosure, we don’t know what conflicts of interest our judges may have

A sitting West Virginia judge, Beth Walker, overturned an important ruling to the benefit of companies her husband owned stock in. Now, her conflict of interest is the center of a case that may be heard by the US Supreme Court. While the Supreme Court decides whether this should have been grounds for her recusal, West Virginians should reflect on another, larger and invisible web of potential conflicts of interest surrounding many West Virginia judges — millions of dollars in secret independent campaign expenditures.

These big-money groups have names like, “Moving West Virginia Forward” and “West Virginians for Fair Courts” that hide who the wealthy special interests that fund them are, and what they want from the judges they support or oppose. Recently, there has been an explosion of secret money in West Virginia and state judicial races across the country. A Brennan Center analysis found that 70% of the spending on TV ads in state judicial races ahead of the 2016 election was from dark money sources. Last year, wealthy special interests groups pulled off another victory in a West Virginia Supreme Court race. Largely anonymous groups spent more than $2 million supporting Beth Walker’s candidacy, duplicating the feat Don Blankenship pulled off 12 years ago.

In the past, West Virginia has been a leader in supporting a fair-minded judiciary. After a particularly egregious instance of secret money influencing the court, our state legislature enacted a landmark judicial public financing system to ensure our judges rule on the constitution and law, not based on special interest influence. They also passed a groundbreaking bill limiting contributions to independent groups and requiring the groups to disclose the identity of their controlling entities and donors. However, in recent years, new US Supreme Court rulings like Citizens United and the growth in new types of dark money spending mean that these disclosure laws are not keeping up with the times. Our campaign finance disclosure laws must be revised.

In Justice Walker’s case, whatever the outcome, all parties recognize that stock ownership is a legitimate conflict of interest concern for a judge to rule fairly on a case. With this in mind, West Virginia, every other state, and federal courts address this concern through common-sense financial disclosure forms. Judges have to be transparent about the companies they invest in so that everyone knows that all rulings are fair, impartial, and free from bias.

But why should this stop at investments? Millions of dollars are being spent to elect our judges in total secrecy from the people of West Virginia. West Virginian voters deserve to know who is trying to influence their votes and their judges. While some will claim these expenditures are independent and that there are laws against coordination, this barrier is not always effective or respected. In February, for example, a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice uploaded b-roll footage of herself onto YouTube, which was then used in television ads by an outside group. Even if these groups are independent, as they claim, there is no compelling interest that these donations made in secret should not be exposed to the sunlight of transparency.

Without common-sense disclosure laws, anyone could end up across the courtroom from another other party who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to a dark money group supporting the judge ruling on their case. And they wouldn’t even have the information, to ask the judge to recuse himself or herself. The faith of West Virginians’ in their courts is rightfully tarnished by such secrecy, but the solution is simple. As dark money tries to find new and hidden ways into influencing our elections, it is critical that our state legislators protect the fairness, impartiality, and public trust in the judiciary through strong, up-to-date disclosure laws.

Julie Archer is Project Manger at WV Citizen Action Group and Co-Coordinator of WV Citizens for Clean Elections, a statewide coalition working to increase transparency and accountability in West Virginia elections.