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Wood County Commission approves poll workers

PARKERSBURG — The Wood County Commission unanimously approved a list of poll workers for the upcoming elections.

Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes and Deputy Clerks Melody Ross and Diana Garrett submitted the list for 320 poll workers on Monday. Rhodes said there are 136 Democrats and 184 Republicans.

The list includes alternates with Rhodes saying they will continue to take names in case they need more if someone cannot serve. Independents or third party individuals can be placed on the list as alternates if needed, officials said.

Letters will be sent out to inform these people they have been approved and they will have 30 days to respond to accept or decline the offer, officials said.

The primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 12. Absentee ballots will be mailed March 27 and applications are being sent in. During the last presidential primary, the county sent out around 1,200 absentee ballots and received about 900 of those back from voters.

Early voting will begin at the Judge Black Annex April 29 through May 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.

Early voting at the community sites of the Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department, the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department, the Vienna City Building and the Williamstown City Building will be May 5 through May 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the week and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Rhodes said all of those sites are busy during the time they are open, especially Vienna and Williamstown.

”In the last election, it was 28 percent of voters who did early voting,” he said.

Traditionally, early voting does not increase the number of people who vote, Commission President Blair Couch said.

”It just changes how they vote,” he said.

Poll workers are paid $175 for election day, $25 to do training and a supply commissioner gets an extra $25 plus mileage.

Rhodes said they will be providing alcohol wipes to the poll workers to regularly clean off the screens of the voting machines.

The clerk’s office has two people who go to nursing homes and hospitals to allow people there to be able to vote.

The county recently bought new voting machines.

In other business:

∫ Wood County Development Director Lindsey Piersol appeared before the commission with an agreement with Danser Sheet Metal for the development authority to buy equipment for the Davisville company which would have a limited exemption on the personal property tax. They did a similar deal with Wincore in 2016.

The state Development Authority has worked out deals with larger companies and manufacturers, officials said.

The deal needed the signature of Couch and Wood County Assessor David Nohe.

Piersol said the deal will allow Danser to hire additional people to bring its total number to 55.

”They are trying to update old equipment,” she said.

A measure in the legislature failed to eliminate the personal property tax for business.

Deals have been worked out with businesses to buy equipment to avoid the tax, but in return they have to add a certain number of jobs to make it work.

Some companies don’t know about the personal property tax in West Virginia. Piersol said the office tries to inform prospective businesses of that in advance.

”I don’t think it will stop anyone from coming here,” she said. ”It is not a huge deterrent.”

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