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Randolph County commissioners hear election update

The Inter-Mountain photo by Anthony Gaynor Randolph County Commissioner Mark Scott, left, and Commission President David Kesling take part in Thursday’s commission meeting in Elkins.

ELKINS — Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman gave County Commissioners an update on the upcoming primary election on Thursday.

Wiseman explained during the County Commission’s regular meeting that her office has seen an increase in absentee ballot requests. The county sent applications to request an absentee ballot to registered voters in the county.

She said as of Wednesday her office has received 3,560 applications. Of those that requested absentee ballots, 2,133 are registered Democrats, 893 are Republicans and 534 are registered as Independent.

“We are doing more every day,” she said. “In the last presidential primary election we had (a total of) 8,505 that voted.”

Wiseman said the county will host a public voting machine test today at the Randolph County Courthouse Annex. Early voting is set to run from May 27 through June 6 and there will be two locations for voters to cast their ballot.

One location will be at the Mill Creek Public Library and the second at the Weese Annex of the Randolph County Courthouse. Early voting will be available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

“All precincts will be open on Election Day,” she said. “There may be less poll workers.”

Wiseman explained that a West Virginia Secretary of State order allows counties to utilize less poll workers to help with social distancing measures due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. She said traditionally all polls have five workers, but some this year will only have three or four. Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, June 9.

Commissioner Chris See asked if there are enough poll workers lined up for the primary.

“We have enough right now, but we don’t have any extra,” she responded. “If anyone knows anyone who would be interested, please have them to call us.”

County Commission President David Kesling asked about COVID-19 safety precautions for the polling places on Election Day. Wiseman said all the polling places will have gloves available for voters to wear while using the voting machines. She said if an individual does not want to wear gloves they will also provide pencils. She explained the erasers on the pencils can be used to make selections on the machines.

“We have masks for every poll worker,” Wiseman said. “Hopefully, the voters will wear masks.”

Wiseman said every polling place will have disinfectant on hand.

“The machines and table will be cleaned regularly,” she said. “We are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe.”

Also during the county commission meeting:

∫ Commissioners approved the appointment of Bradley Smith to fill an unexplored term on the Norton-Harding-Jimtown PSD Board. The term will expire on June 30, 2021.

∫ The hiring of Jennifer Lloyd as a part time hire in the 911 center was approved.

∫ Commissioners approved the re-appointment of Louise See to a five-year term on the Valley Head Public Library Board.

The next regular Randolph County Commission meeting is slated for 1:30 p.m. on June 4.

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