CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- This summer, the state Elections Commission deadlocked on a 2-2 tie vote on a motion to award Supreme Court candidate Allen Loughry some $140,000 in public campaign financing matching funds.
That led to a challenge in the state Supreme Court, ultimately resolved with the court overturning the state's Supreme Court public financing pilot project as unconstitutional.
The 2-2 tie vote occurred, because the fifth seat on the commission -- and the potential tie-breaking vote -- is vacant.
As of Friday, according to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin's office, there are a total of 163 vacancies on the 238 state boards and commissions that the governor has authority to appoint members.
Considering that the governor has to fill a total of 1,938 seats on the various boards, the vacancy rate currently is at 8 percent.
Becky Neal, who is in charge of handling executive appointments in the governor's office, said the distinct requirements for membership on various boards and commission makes it a challenge to fill all vacancies.
Each board has various requirements for specific members, often including residency in specific congressional district, or even in specific geographic locations; political affiliation; and in some cases, experience or employment in particular fields or professions.
"When a candidate is recommended to our office, they must go through an initial screening process for that particular board to determine if, in fact, they meet all eligibility requirements," she said.
Some of the current vacancies include:
* A physician for the Board of Acupuncture