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WV voters reject push to lift sheriff limits

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia voters have once again rejected a push to allow sheriffs to serve more than two consecutive terms.

The constitutional amendment was voted down on Tuesday. It was the fourth time voters have rejected lifting the term limits on the state's 55 sheriffs, most recently in 1994.

Voters amended the constitution in 1973 to allow sheriffs a second term. The Constitution forces them to sit out one term after serving two consecutive four-year terms.

Only the governor is subject to a similar term limit.

The West Virginia Sheriffs Association fought for the change, arguing sheriffs don't serve long enough to accrue retirement benefits or work their way up in national trade groups.

Supporters argued it protects against abuse.

Only two other states, Indiana and New Mexico, have similar restrictions.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.