PARKERSBURG - Wood County officials began the process to finalize the official results of the Nov. 6 General Election on Tuesday.
County Commissioners Steve Gainer and Wayne Dunn met throughout the day Tuesday as the Wood County Canvassing Board, working with County Clerk Jamie Six to review provisional ballots from the election.
Six said Wood County had 463 provisional ballots in the election. The commissioners - sitting as the board of canvass - are required to rule on the provisional ballots and also oversee a hand count of four randomly selected precincts, which meets the state requirement of five percent of the county's precincts, he said.
Photo by Wayne Towner
The Wood County Commission, meeting as the canvassing board, reviews provisional ballots from the Nov. 6 election on Tuesday at the Wood County Courthouse. From left are County Commissioner Steve Gainer, Angie Grant from the county commission office, County Clerk Jamie Six, Elizabeth Berry from the county clerk’s office and County Commissioner Wayne Dunn.
Ballots may be challenged and become provisional for a variety of reasons, Six said. Many of the ballots being reviewed on Tuesday involved people who had changed their address on Election Day and voted in the proper precinct and pollworkers who were assigned to a different precinct and voted there. Other provisional ballots involved people who failed to register to vote or had not voted in seven years, resulting in their removal from the rolls of registered voters.
Overruling a provisional ballot means the ballot will be counted. If a challenge is sustained, the ballot is not counted. Absentee ballots received by the start of the canvass on Tuesday morning were also being counted in the totals, Six said.
Once the commission completes the canvass, a 48-hour time clock begins during which a recount can be requested. If no request is filed, election results can then be certified, he said.
Six said he is not aware of any race results that may be changed by the results of the canvass. All local races appeared to involve winning margins that will not be affected by the updated totals resulting from completion of the canvass, he said.
Six said the provisional ballot review was completed Tuesday afternoon. The handcount will resume at 9 a.m. today and is expected to conclude today, as pollworkers - featuring two from each party - go through each ballot from the four randomly picked precincts to make sure their count agrees with the computer tabulation.
On the state level, Six said the 48-hour period to request a recount does not begin until the last county in West Virginia has certified its final results.