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Non-partisan judicial elections on governor’s desk

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill requiring nonpartisan election of judges cleared the West Virginia House of Delegates Monday and is on its way to becoming law.

House Bill 2010 would require circuit court judges, family court judges, justices and magistrates to be elected through nonpartisan elections and set up election schedules beginning in 2016. Lawmakers have argued partisan elections lead to unfairness in the state’s courts, which critics of the bill say it does not address the root of the problem, campaign donations by lobbyists and interest groups.

The Senate approved an amended version of HB 2010 last week, correcting and clarifying some of the language. The House, via a rollcall vote, approved the amended version without opposition.

The House then voted 89-7 with four members absent to approve the amended bill. There was no discussion on the bill.

Nonpartisan election of judges now goes to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to be signed into law.

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