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 Secretary of State’s Office Files Response In Redistricting Lawsuit

11/4/2011

    Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office has filed its response to lawsuits filed in relation to the redistricting plan passed by the State Legislature earlier this year.
 
    The complete response can be viewed here on the Secretary of State’s Office website.
 
    In the response, Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant says it is her statutory duty as the state’s chief elections officer to respond to the petitions filed by presenting a full legal defense to the plan enacted in House Bill 201.

    The response points out pressing deadlines facing counties when it comes to redrawing precincts that include territory contained in more than one senatorial or delegate district. The Secretary of State’s Office is requesting a ruling from the State Supreme Court by December 1, 2011.

    Similar redistricting plans have been unsuccessfully challenged in courts since 1973.  The challenges raised by these two suits are not materially different than those challenges addressed by the courts in the past. Although some individuals may believe that they could have created a "better" plan, the responsibility of creating the plan belongs to the Legislature and not to any individual.
 
    The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is representing the Secretary of State’s Office in the case.

**UPDATE**

November 14, 2011:

    Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office has filed its responses to three additional challenges to the legislative redistricting plan.
 
    Residents of Monroe County have filed a lawsuit challenging the House of Delegates plan. Residents of Kanawha, Monongalia, and Wood Counties have filed two other lawsuits challenging the State Senate redistricting.

    The complete responses can be seen here and here.
 
    Similar to the response to the lawsuits filed by attorney Thornton Cooper and jointly by the Putnam and Mason County Commissions, the responses filed Monday point out pressing deadlines and contend that the House and Senate plans are constitutional.  The Secretary of State’s Office is requesting a ruling from the State Supreme Court by December 1, 2011.
 
    The West Virginia Attorney General’s Office is representing the Secretary of State’s Office in the case.

Contact:

Jake Glance
(304) 558-6000
jglance@wvsos.com