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Wood County Clerk tests machines ahead of Election Day

Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes, rear, and Wood County IT Systems/Network Administrator Chris Whittaker do a test of the election tabulation systems Thursday before the Wood County Commission. The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 3. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG –The Wood County Clerk’s office is preparing for election day next Tuesday.

Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes and Wood County IT Systems/Network Administrator Chris Whittaker appeared before the Wood County Commission on Thursday to run tests to certify the tabulation equipment was ready to receive results Election Night on Nov. 3.

The test will be run again Tuesday night and then cleared out before the results are tabulated.

Rhodes said they have had over 6,350 absentee ballots returned out of 7,280 mailed out. He estimates around 930 absentee ballots have not been returned yet.

The county has had 14,566 early voters that have come through its five early voting sites.

With absentee and early voting, the county experienced a 36 percent turnout in voters, as of Thursday.

Early voting will continue today and Saturday at the Black Annex in downtown Parkersburg, the Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department, the Vienna Community Building, the former Williamstown Elementary at 418 Williams Ave. and the new Blennerhassett Volunteer Fire Department at 5859 DuPont Road.

Polls will be open today from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Rhodes said Democratic absentee voters are higher than Republicans, but Republicans have the higher percentage in in-person early voting.

“Republican in-person was 2-1 during the first couple days of early voting,” he said.

Wednesday was the last day people could apply for an absentee ballot and his office had around 14 people apply for one directly from the office and several who applied through the Secretary of State’s portal that came in from that.

Those remaining ballots will have been mailed out by Thursday afternoon.

Rhodes is still planning to have all 68 of the county’s voting precincts open on Tuesday as he is doing emergency poll worker training and filling in positions of people who have decided not to work on Election Day.

He will give a report Monday to the commission on where they stand.

“I am still planning to have all the precincts opened and manned,” he said.

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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