Embarrassing

Justice should speak about tax controversy

Three years ago, when West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice was running for the post he now holds, failure by some of his companies to pay property taxes in this state and Virginia were an embarrassment. They still are.

A Roanoke, Virginia television station, WDBJ, reports Justice’s companies owe $1.9 million in delinquent property taxes to several Virginia counties.

Justice, a billionaire, notes frequently that he is not involved with day-to-day operations of his companies. His son manages most of them.

Still, a word or two from the governor would go a long way in settling the delinquent tax matter — and in ending an embarrassment for West Virginians.

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We hear a lot about public officials engaging in “voter suppression” — that is, making it more difficult for some people to cast ballots.

Not in West Virginia. Here, a project by Secretary of State Mac Warner has made a big difference — in making it easier for many people to vote.

Last year, ours was the first state in the nation to try a mobile voting program West Virginians living overseas temporarily could use. They could cast ballots securely on smartphones.

A University of Chicago researcher has concluded the initiative increased voter turnout by 3-5 percentage points.

Of course, the system still needs improvements. Clearly, however, Warner is on the right track.

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