The turnout for the November General Election is projected to be low. Reason — There is not a single statewide political contest. The only contests of national interest are the two seats in the U. S. House of Representatives. Despite the lack of interest, approximately 20 to 25% of West Virginia’s registered voters will vote and each vote will count.
When the votes are counted, West Virginia’s Congressional seats are expected to remain in Republican hands. Current projections have the GOP winning the U. S. House of Representatives nationally and possibly the Senate. Some look for the greatest Republican victory since 1920.
In 1920, West Virginia was represented by no fewer than six congressmen. All six republican candidates were elected. In 1922, the tables turned with voters electing four democrats and two republicans. West Virginia’s representation in the House of Representatives remained at six seats until 1962 when it dropped to five seats. Representation fell to four seats in 1972, and then to three seats in 1992, and to just two seats this year.
There are reasons (mostly employment opportunities) that a state’s population decreases or increases. West Virginia has not kept pace with surrounding states because better employment opportunities exist elsewhere. Other states have done a better job of making do with their resources than has West Virginia.
West Virginia’s political clout was three times greater in 1920 (six representatives) than it is today. While both republicans and democrats promise more jobs, neither party has produced. Perhaps republicans deserve a pass since they were the minority party until 2014. While republicans and democrats, not actual jobs, are on the ballot, both parties receive a pass.
On November 8, voters will not receive a pass on job policy. Amendment 2 is all about jobs. If Amendment 2 is approved, personal property taxes on vehicles and property tax on business properties will disappear. If approved, all businesses in West Virginia will be on the same footing as businesses in other states. Amendment 2 eliminates the business franchise tax; the business personal property tax on equipment, machinery, vehicles, and inventory. Passage will promote job growth and foster a business environment which will make West Virginia competitive with other states.
Amendment 2 has been described as controversial. The job benefit of the amendment is not controversial. No one is against jobs. West Virginia’s present business tax policy is controversial in that it hurts job producers.
The Amendment 2 choice on November 8 is to continue on a path which has seen West Virginia drop from six congressional representatives to two or to take a new path.