State Supreme Court lets 2011 Rowlesburg mayor election stand - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

State Supreme Court lets 2011 Rowlesburg mayor election stand

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The West Virginia Supreme Court recently decided to let the Rowlesburg mayoral election results stand after an unsuccessful incumbent candidate contested results by saying at least four ballots were cast unlawfully.

Former mayor Barbara Banister filed the notice of contested election against the town of Rowlesburg and her opponent, Margaret Schollar.

According to court documents, 56 votes were cast for Banister and 59 votes for Schollar. Baninster did not request a recount within 48 hours of the canvass, court documents state.

Banister filed a notice of contested election in June 2011 alleging four ballots were unlawfully cast. 

The issue went before town council in July, but members denied her election contest, deeming Schollar the winner. The town council determined the contested ballots could not be identified.

Banister later appealed the circuit court's order denying her appeal of certification of election, saying the election was "prematurely certified by the town council without giving her the statutory 48 hour period within which to demand a recount." She also alleged the canvass was "deficient" and said there should have been another election.

The West Virginia Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's decision, with Justices Robin Jean Davis and Brent Benjamin dissenting.

"We find neither an abuse of discretion nor clear error in the circuit court's order and, therefore, adopt and incorporate by reference the circuit court's findings and conclusions as to the assignments of error raised in this appeal," justices wrote.