25
Sep
10

W.Va. Court Finds Referendum Signatures are Public Records

The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruled that signatures for a voter referendum are considered public documents subject to disclosure under the state’s freedom of information laws. The decision reversed a lower court’s ruling that upheld a county clerk’s denial of a FOIA request by The Shepherdstown Observer newspaper.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, along with The Society of Professional Journalists, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case urging the appellate court to overturn the initial ruling and highlighting several errors in the lower court’s order. The high court’s opinion largely reflected points made by the two groups in their brief.

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