CHAPTER 3. ELECTIONS.

§3-8-7. Failure to file statement; delinquent or incomplete filing; criminal and civil penalties.

(a) Any person, candidate, financial agent, or treasurer of a political committee who fails to file a sworn, itemized statement required by this article within the time limitations specified in this article or who willfully files a grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than $500 or confined in jail for not more than one year, or both fined and confined. Sixty days after any primary or other election, the Secretary of State, county clerk, or municipal recorder, as the case may be, shall give notice of any failure to file a sworn statement or the filing of any grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement by any person, candidate, financial agent, or treasurer of a political party committee and forward copies of any grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement to the prosecuting attorney of the county where the person, candidate, financial agent, or treasurer resides, is located, or has its principal place of business.

(b) (1) Any person, candidate, financial agent, or treasurer of a political committee who fails to file a sworn, itemized statement as required in this article or who files a grossly incomplete or grossly inaccurate statement shall be assessed a civil penalty by the Secretary of State of $10 a day for each day after the due date the statement is delinquent, grossly incomplete, or grossly inaccurate. Sixty days after any primary or other election, the county clerk shall give notice to the Secretary of State of any failure to file a sworn statement or the filing of any grossly incomplete, or grossly inaccurate statement by any person, candidate, financial agent, or treasurer of a political committee and forward copies of such delinquent, incomplete, or inaccurate statements to the Secretary of State.

(2) A civil penalty assessed pursuant to this section shall be payable to the State of West Virginia and is collectable as authorized by law for the collection of debts.

(3) The Secretary of State may negotiate and enter into settlement agreements for the payment of civil penalties assessed as a result of the filing of a delinquent, grossly incomplete, or inaccurate statement.

(4) The Secretary of State shall publish online a list of all persons required to file statements with the Secretary of State who file statements after the deadline in an election cycle. This list shall be maintained and be publicly available online to include late activity for, at a minimum, the previous five years up to the current year.

(5) The Secretary of State and county clerk may review and audit any sworn statement required to be filed pursuant to this article. The State Election Commission shall propose legislative rules for promulgation, in accordance with §29A-3-1 et seq. of this code, to establish procedures for the assessment of civil penalties as provided in this section.

(c) (1) Any candidate, whether nominated by primary election or appointed by executive committee or executive committee chair, who has failed to file any sworn statement as required by this article relating to the immediately preceding primary election for any office by the 84th day before the general election, is disqualified and may not have his or her name appear on the general election ballot. The provisions of §3-8-5b(d) of this code notwithstanding, any sworn statement filed after the deadline required by §3-8-5 of this code must be received in the office indicated by §3-8-5b(a) of this code by the close of business on the 84th day before the general election.

(2) It is unlawful to issue a commission or certificate of election, or to administer the oath of office, to any person elected to any public office who has failed to file any sworn statement required by this article and no person may enter upon the duties of his or her office until he or she has filed such statement, nor may he or she receive any salary or emolument for any period prior to the filing of the statement.

(3) The vacancy on the ballot created by the disqualification in this subsection is subject to §3-5-19 of this code.

(d) As used in this section, "grossly" means substantive and material, and specifically includes false or misleading representations and acts of omissions.

(e) The Secretary of State shall provide by rule protocols for written notice via certified mail, return receipt requested, to the person, candidate, financial agent, or treasurer of a political party committee that is not in compliance with the requirements of this section. With respect to a violation of subsection (c) of this section, the notice shall be provided 60 days after any primary or other election.