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W.Va. voters reject push to lift sheriff term limits

November 7, 2012
The Inter-Mountain

CHARLESTON (AP) - West Virginia voters once again have rejected a push to allow sheriffs to serve more than two consecutive terms.

The proposed constitutional amendment was voted down on Tuesday, as a ballot measure in the General Election. It was the fourth time voters have rejected lifting the term limits on the state's 55 sheriffs, with the last vote on the measure occurring in 1994.

Voters amended the constitution in 1973 to allow sheriffs a second term.

Currently, the state Constitution forces candidates to sit out a minimum of one term after serving two consecutive four-year terms as sheriff.

Only the governor is subject to a similar term limit.

The West Virginia Sheriffs Association fought for the change, arguing sheriffs don't serve long enough to accrue retirement benefits or work their way up in national trade groups.

Supporters argued term limits, as they currently exist, protect against abuse.

Only two other states, Indiana and New Mexico, have similar restrictions.



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