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City announces details of vote canvass process Monday

The Inter-Mountain photo by Brad Johnson Elkins Mayor Van Broughton, at right, speaks as First Ward Councilman Rob Chenoweth, at left, listens during this week’s Elkins City Council meeting, the first to be held at the Phil Gainer Community Center to allow the public to gather safely during the pandemic.

ELKINS — The City of Elkins has announced its plan for canvassing the municipal election votes, a process which could change the results of the Fifth Ward Council race.

Elkins City Council will meet at 11 a.m. Monday at the Phil Gainer Community Center to canvass the vote, which will include considering the 30 ballots which were marked “provisional” in the election.

Fifth Ward has five provisional ballots, the city’s external affairs specialist, Sutton Stokes said. In the Fifth Ward council race, incumbent Dave Parker totaled 68 votes Tuesday, while challenger Burley Woods received 66 votes.

“There are sufficient provisional ballots in Fifth Ward to potentially affect the preliminary outcome” of the Fifth Ward race, Stokes said. “No other ward/race had results close enough to be affected by the number of provisional ballots indicated.”

During the canvass of the vote, which is required by state law, “materials, equipment and results of an election are reviewed, corrected and officially recorded prior to the certification of that election,” the agenda for Monday’s event states.

“At the canvass, council, assisted by the city clerk, accounts for the total number of paper ballots, used and unused. Then, council considers each provisional ballot, one by one, to determine whether it represents a valid vote,” a City of Elkins press release reads. “Ballots are marked as ‘provisional’ when it was not possible to verify their validity on election day.”

Officials will determine by a random method one ward which will be recounted Monday.

“Candidates have 48 hours from the time the canvass adjourns to request a recount in writing to the city clerk. At the same time, they must also post a bond, usually $300, to cover the expense of the recount,” the press release states. “Council will be establish the bond amount for recounts in this election at the canvass meeting.”

Certification of the vote will occur 48 hours after the canvass is completed.

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