"The way they plan to do it is probably right, but I sure don't want to wait until Nov. 3 and have it challenged in court."
When asked how the planned procedure should be changed, Carper said, "I don't know."
"I'm not saying this is the wrong decision," Carper said. "But as we're talking right now, they are programming the machines. What if one party announces that this is unfair? How can you have one vote for two elections?
"The time to worry about this is now. The time to discuss this is now," he added.
State Republican Party Chairman Mike Stuart said he doesn't think the specific procedure is a problem. But he does think West Virginia should follow suit with a majority of other states in banning straight-ticket voting altogether.
"I don't think it is a huge issue," Stuart said of the two elections appearing on one ballot.
"I don't think it's fair to ask the taxpayers to print two different sets of ballots, particularly given the state of the economy."
Only 16 states - including West Virginia - allow some form of straight-ticket voting.
Stuart admitted that straight-ticket voting tends to favor the other party, mostly because registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans in this state.
"It will favor the party that has the most folks registered in that party," Stuart said.
"In West Virginia where Democrats have a 2-to-1 advantage in registration, it will favor the Democrats 2 to 1."
Carper said the coinciding of the two elections is a "unique situation." He believes the matter calls for a thorough public discussion to make sure the procedure is in full compliance with the law.
A Democrat, Carper said he knows straight-ticket voting tends to benefit his party. He said his question is with the procedure itself, and whether that procedure might present the possibility of a legal challenge.
Tennant spokesman Jake Glance said Tuesday afternoon he had not yet seen Carper's letter. But he said Tennant and her staff are confident in the planned procedure.
Contact writer Billy Wolfe at billy.wo...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4843.