LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Think before making changes to ballot rules

Dear Editor: A surprisingly large number of West Virginians voted for a prison inmate in preference to our incumbent President during the May Primary Presidential election. Not so surprisingly, some immediately howled in protest about the embarrassment to the people and leadership of our Mountain State, even though there have been similar situations and outcomes, both before and since, in other States. However, a recent Martinsburg Journal editorial had it exactly right when they cautioned the West Virginia Legislature to resist the temptation to "enact a knee-jerk reaction law to keep legitimate, if lessor known candidates off the ballot.' The Journal correctly went on to point out "that would smack of a system intended to protect those already in power...". Instead, of ham-fisted attempts to restrict the will of the voters, how about instead increasing ballot access for all putative candidates, regardless of their political party affiliation or other so-called "insider" bonafides? After all, doesn't our government belong to the people, and not the other way around? Just asking. Sincerely, Larry D. Kump Falling Waters (Editor's Note: Kump is a Republican member of the House of Delegates, representing District 52 of Berkeley and Morgan counties.

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