Initiative & Referendum Institute

at the University of Southern California 


Process Available





Elections Division



Constitutional and Statutory Provisions


West Virginia

A state senator (Campbell) introduced an initiative and referendum bill in 1907, and a state delegate (Williams) introduced one in 1908. Both were defeated. In 1915, Governor Hatfield called for I&R in his annual message to the legislature, but his words went unheeded. The biggest obstacle to I&R in the Progressive era was probably the corporate-backed Republican Party's domination of West Virginia politics, which lasted from 1896 to 1932. Still, the state's I&R advocates were not without success, for a 1917 chart in the I&R movement organ Equity indicated that the legislature had passed "special acts" granting I&R rights to residents of some (unidentified) local jurisdictions.

See David Schmidt, Citizen Lawmakers: The Ballot Initiative Revolution.

2014 Initiative & Referendum Institute

University of Southern California

Los Angeles CA 90089-0071