Tennant Anticipates Working Closely With Attorney General, Legislature In Byrd Succession
Charleston, W.Va. – Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant today said she anticipates working closely with the Attorney General’s Office and the state legislature to clear up state code regarding a special election, and added that her staff has been looking at timelines for several election scenarios:
“While I welcome the opinion of the Attorney General’s Office, I stand by my original interpretation of state code and our review of the appropriate case law.
“I agree with Governor Manchin in that the Attorney General is the chief legal officer for the state.
“We have been evaluating the legal requirements and timelines for various election scenarios. We have contacted the attorney general and offered our election law expertise and anticipate working closely with them.
“My interpretation of the state code is that the earliest a special election could be held to fill Senator Byrd’s unexpired term is 2012.
"But I have said time and again that I do not personally agree with this section of code. In fact, I would like to see the people of West Virginia go to the polls as soon as possible. I have always been an advocate for voting whether it be satellite precincts, vote-by-mail, or internet voting for our military and overseas voters.
“On Friday, I called on Governor Manchin to call a special session as early as possible to examine the section of state code that deals with the succession process. I believe by working with the legislature we can clear up the confusion in the code and pass a law that works for West Virginia voters.”