(a) No racetrack may be licensed under this article to operate West Virginia Lottery table games until a local option election is held in the county in which pari-mutuel wagers are received at a racetrack licensed under article twenty-three, chapter nineteen of this code and the voters of that county voting on the question approve having West Virginia Lottery table games at the racetrack.
(b) The county commission shall place the question on the ballot upon the receipt of a written notice from a licensed racetrack located within that county requesting that the question be placed on the ballot.
(c) The county commission of the county in which table games would be located shall give notice to the public of the election by publication of the notice as a Class II-0 legal advertisement in compliance with the provisions of article three, chapter fifty-nine of this code and the publication area for the publication shall be the county in which the election is to be held. The date of the last publication of the notice shall fall on a date at least thirty days preceding the day of the election. A local option election shall be effective even though the date of the order of the county commission setting the election or the date of publication of notice of the election is prior to the effective date of this article if the election is otherwise held in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(d) On the local option election ballot shall be printed the following:
Shall West Virginia Lottery table games be permitted at the [name of licensed racetrack]?
[ ] Yes[ ] No
(Place a cross mark in the square next to your choice.)
(e) The local option election shall be held in conjunction with the next primary or general election scheduled more than ninety days following receipt by the county commission of the notice required by this section or at a special election: Provided, That upon written request by the licensed racetrack that a special election be called, the county commission shall order a special election to be held on the question within ninety days after the receipt by the county commission of that request. The county commission may require the licensed racetrack to pay the entire cost incurred by the county to hold the special election. Approval shall be by a majority of the voters casting votes at the election on the question of approval or disapproval of West Virginia Lottery table games at a licensed racetrack.
(f) If the majority votes against allowing table games at a licensed racetrack, no election on the issue shall be held for a period of one hundred four weeks. A local option election may thereafter be held in the manner provided in this section. The process to hold another election on the question shall start anew, as if no prior request for an election on the question had been filed with county commission and as if there had been no prior election on the question.
(g) If the majority votes for allowing West Virginia Lottery table games at a licensed racetrack facility in a county, another local option election on the issue shall not be held for a period of five years. A local option election may thereafter be held if a written petition of qualified voters residing within the county equal to at least five percent of the number of persons who were registered to vote in the next preceding general election is received by the county commission of the county in which the horse or dog racetrack is located. The petition may be in any number of counterparts. The petition shall be in the following form:
Petition For Local Option Election
We, the undersigned legally qualified voters, resident within the County of __________________, do hereby petition that a special election be held within the County of _________________ upon the following question: Shall West Virginia Lottery table games be permitted at the [name of racetrack]?
Name Address Date
(Post office or street address)