Tucker levy fails in recount by 2 votes

PARSONS – Tucker County Schools officials’ hopes were once again dashed Friday when the recount of votes for the Tucker County School levy came up short, this time by two votes.

The recount, requested by the Tucker County Board of Education and Superintendent of Schools Dr. Eddie Campbell, was held Friday in the Courthouse Annex. The official final numbers were 687 votes for the levy and 689 against.

The original numbers from the May 13 primary election showed the levy failing by three votes, 682 votes for and 685 against.

The vote was canvassed on May 19, with a result of 686 votes for the levy and 687 against.

The levy would have provided $240,000 each year for five years for school construction, repair and maintenance, technology expenses, textbooks and extracurricular activities.

Campbell, who attended Friday’s recount, said he was disappointed for the county’s children.

“We ran the levy for them,” Campbell said. “To come up short was hard to swallow. So many people told me they had to work or forgot about the election and didn’t vote.”

Campbell said the only ones who will suffer from the loss are the students.

“We will send this back through in November,” Campbell said. “We hope those who did not vote for the levy in May’s election will come out in November to make sure this passes.”

Tucker County Clerk Sherry Simmons said it has been more than 10 years since a recount was requested in Tucker.

Before the votes were re-tallied, Simmons administered the oath of office to Tucker County Commissioners Mike Rosenau, Diane Hinkle and Lowell Moore, Chief Deputy Clerk Shelly Bolyard and election official Jane Greenhalgh. The group took each ballot, precinct by precinct, and counted the votes for and against. Those numbers were compared to the numbers following the canvass. Changes in the numbers were the result of ballots showing “clear intent.”

“That could mean that someone made an ‘X’ instead of filling in the circle vote or indicated some other way they are voting for or against,” Simmons said.

During Friday’s recount, all 11 precincts were re-tallied. Prior to Friday’s verification, Simmons said if the race would end in a tie, the deciding vote would come from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.

Friday’s recount began at 8 a.m. in the Tucker County Courthouse Annex conference room. Votes from all 11 precincts were recounted by 11 a.m.