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Rhodes: Primary election a success in Wood County

Provisional, absentee ballots could decide close races

Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes and Wood County IT Systems & Network Administrator Christopher Whittaker watch primary election totals being tallied Tuesday night at the Wood County Courthouse. The county will have 55 provisional ballots to consider, as well as a number of absentee ballots, when the Wood County Commission canvasses the election results Monday starting at 9:30 a.m. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG — The 2022 primary election had a couple of minor issues, but went fairly smoothly in Wood County, County Clerk Mark Rhodes said.

All in all there were a couple of technical issues and a few pollworkers who called in sick, but it was not as bad as Rhodes thought it could get.

As pollworkers were bringing in election materials so votes could be tabulated, Rhodes said a couple did not properly close out of their systems and the systems had to be closed out at the courthouse Tuesday evening.

They used a statement of ballots to match the number of ballots cast in order to make sure that all the ballots cast in the precinct were properly counted, he said.

The clerk’s office had to have 10 employees go out and fill in for sick pollworkers.

Del. John Kelly, R-Wood, watches election returns come in Tuesday evening at the Wood County Courthouse. Kelly lost his primary bid to become a State Senator to incumbent Senator Mike Azinger, R-Wood. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

The county will have 55 provisional ballots to consider when the Wood County Commission meets Monday as the canvassing board. During that time, three voting precincts will be picked at random and a hand count will be conducted to match the totals received election night.

The county will also count any remaining absentee ballots that are postmarked on May 10 and received before canvassing begins Monday at 9:30 a.m.

“We should hopefully have the numbers finalized sometime Monday afternoon,” Rhodes said.

There is an eight-vote difference between Republicans Bob Fehrenbacher and Roger Conley in the House of Delegates race for District 11. Rhodes said they have five provisional ballots to be considered that could affect that race as well as any absentee ballots that come in by Monday with the proper postmark.

There were 10 absentee ballots received Wednesday in the County Clerk’s office, but none would affect that race, Rhodes said.

In the race for Wood County Board of Education in District A, Jeff Fox received 5,158 votes followed by incumbent Debbie Hendersot with with 5,155 votes, a difference of three votes. Only one of the two can be seated on the school board.

Rhodes said the provisional ballots and absentee ballots could impact the outcome of that race.

The provisional ballots are not expected to impact the Republican primary for the House of Delegates race for District 14. The unofficial tally Tuesday night had Republican Dave Foggin leading 824 votes to incumbent D. Shannon Kimes’s 730, a difference of 94 votes.

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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