Some Judicial Races ‘Hidden’ on Primary Ballot Now, Judge Says

Under a new process for choosing West Virginia judges in a nonpartisan election, the candidates’ names will appear so far down the primary ballot in some jurisdictions that they will seem virtually hidden, said one judge who spoke publicly about the change.

“Those elections are hidden at the back of the ballot and, in terms of how we put the ballots together, that’s a real problem in terms of judicial elections, especially on the Republican side because of the big list,” Raleigh Circuit Judge John Hutchison said, according to Because the names of 250 potential delegates to the Republican National Convention are listed first, a voter using a voting machine in Raleigh County must first punch “next page” 17 times to get to the nonpartisan election, he said. Hutchison said a voter education effort is needed.

Five candidates for the West Virginia Supreme Court will be among those on the ballot in the state’s primary election next month. has published profiles of all of them. To read the newspaper’s profiles, click on the candidates’ names: Darrell McGraw, Bill Wooton, Beth Walker, Wayne King, and Justice Brent Benjamin.