HUNTINGTON — The Cabell County Clerk’s Office will begin its canvass of the primary election Monday morning, including counting upward of 800 absentee ballots.
The canvass will begin at 9 a.m. Monday, June 15, at the Cabell County Courthouse. The Cabell County Board of Canvassers, made up of the three county commissioners, will certify the election results after reviewing the absentee and provisional ballots.
Per state code, counties are also required to randomly select 3% of their precincts to hand count. Since Cabell County has 71 precincts, it is required to hand count three precincts.
During the hand count, conducted by local citizens in the presence of the Board of Canvassers, officials look to make sure the results match the electronic tabulations.
Once the Board of Canvassers decides which provisional and absentee ballots can be counted, the votes are tabulated and added to the original returns.
After the completion of the canvass, candidates will have 48 hours to request a recount, or 48 hours after the last county has certified their results in a multi-county election.
The cost for a recount, set by the Board of Canvassers, can’t exceed $300 and is paid for by the candidate, according to state code. The recount can be no sooner than three days after the notice of recount is served to the people involved.
There are between 700 and 800 absentee ballots that will be reviewed, said Kelli Jarrell, supervisor of elections in the Cabell County Clerk’s Office. This is more than normal, as all registered voters in West Virginia had the opportunity to vote by absentee ballot due to the pandemic.
Statewide, there were 262,362 absentee ballots requested, or 21.4% of registered voters. As of Tuesday afternoon, 210,749, or 17.2% of registered voters, had cast their absentee ballot, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
Jarrell said overall the primary election went smoothly, but there were some issues with absentee ballots. In some cases, the clerks’ offices did not receive a ballot back despite the voter saying it was sent. In other cases, the requested ballot was not received by the voter. Jarrell said if the issue was not resolved before the election, most voted in person.
There aren’t many tight races locally, though a few results in the Huntington City Council district races could change.
In District 1, incumbent Joyce Clark, a Democrat seeking her third and final term in the seat, received 289 votes over candidate Adelle Perkey-Nicholas’ 250 — a difference of 39 votes.
In District 2, Democratic candidate Stephanie Heck won with 15 votes more than Johnny McCallister. The Republican race is also tight, with 33 votes separating Todd Sweeney and Jim Rumbaugh.
District 3’s Democratic race winner, Tia “Fix” Rumbaugh, won with 19 votes over Terry Houck, who came in second. District 3 has no Republican candidate, so the primary winner will claim the council seat.
Thirty-six votes separate winner Ally Layman from appointed incumbent Ted V. Kluemper Jr. in the District 9 Democratic race.
Some statewide races may also change as a result of the canvass.
Only .78%, or 427 votes, separated the top two contenders in the Democratic race for the 3rd Congressional District seat. The winner will take on Republican incumbent Carol Miller.
The Democratic race for West Virginia attorney general is also close, with current Del. Isaac Sponaugle, D-Pendleton, having 917 votes over Beckley labor lawyer Sam Petsonk — a percentage point of less than 1%. That winner will take on Republican incumbent Patrick Morrisey.