ELKINS, W.Va. – The COVID-19 pandemic may change more than just the election date for the West Virginia primaries this year.
County clerks around the state are changing their plans for election day to make sure they get the best results possible. Some counties are consolidation voting locations, while others are reducing the numbers of poll workers at each one.
Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman explained that a complete picture of returns may not be available by the end of election night.
“Always on election night when all the votes are counted, that is considered unofficial results. The official results don’t come out until we do the canvass which isn’t until the 15th of June. We’ll start the canvass. It may not end that day,” said Wiseman.
The sheet number of absentee ballots may contribute to a slower counting process. Wiseman explained that her office usually sends out around 100 ballots each time, but this year more than 3,500 were sent out, and around 2,000 have already been returned.
Wiseman expects all regular polling places in Randolph County will remain open, but some may have fewer poll workers than usual, while following guidance from the Secretary of State’s office.
Voters are able to check with local county clerk offices to see what, if any, changes were made to voting in their areas for the primary.