Disqualify Those Who Rig Elections

As noted above, election fraud is nothing new in Lincoln County, W.Va. Less than a decade ago, the county’s former assessor, Jerry Allen Weaver, was caught in a vote-buying scheme.

Now Weaver is running for sheriff in Lincoln County.

Although state law attempts to bar those convicted of election fraud from running for public office, the statute contains loopholes through which Weaver is attempting to walk.

Convicted in 2005, Weaver served a year in a federal prison. But the law appears to allow him to run precisely because he was convicted and served his time.

Citizens can file lawsuits seeking removal from the ballot of ex-criminals such as Weaver. But that is expensive and time-consuming – and yes, some West Virginians may fear the ramifications of opposing powerful figures in politics.

It may be too late to do anything about Weaver. But legislators should eliminate the loophole he is using, to keep people who already have abused the public’s trust off ballots in the future.