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Provisionals may change results in Fifth Ward

ELKINS — The number of ballots cast in Tuesday’s Elkins Municipal Election was more than double the amount of votes cast in 2019, city officials said.

A total of 1,017 ballots were cast in Tuesday’s election, according to information provided Wednesday by the City of Elkins.

These election results will not be official until after canvassing on March 8 and certification on March 10.

The 1,017 ballots cast in 2021 “is approximately double the 476 total votes cast in 2019 and the 572 total votes cast in 2017,” Sutton Stokes, the city’s external affairs specialist, wrote in a press release Wednesday.

“This large turnout, combined with the fact that poll workers had to tally responses to three ballot questions as well, explains why results took so long to get to city hall” Tuesday evening, Stokes wrote in the email.

The full results of the election were released by the city at 1 a.m. Wednesday morning. Polls closed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday evening. No wards were able to bring counted ballots to City Hall until almost 11 p.m. Tuesday night.

Stokes said this was the biggest voter turnout for an Elkins municipal election since 2013.

“Interestingly, last night’s total vote count was almost exactly the same as that in the most recent three-way mayor’s race in Elkins, in 2013,” the press release stated. “That year, in the face-off between Van Broughton, Duke Talbott, and Mark Scott, there were 1,060 votes cast for mayor, only a few dozen more than this year. (Distribution was: Broughton: 500; Talbott: 350; Scott: 210.) Van Broughton’s victory in that election put him in office for the first of his four terms as mayor.”

Stokes said all 62 absentee ballots have been returned to the city, so there will be no changes to the vote tallies based on additional absentee ballots being returned.

He noted a total of 404 early in-person voting ballots had been cast in the election.

Stokes added there are a total of 30 provisional ballots.

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

Incumbent Fifth Ward Councilman Dave Parker totaled 68 votes Tuesday, while challenger Burley Woods received 66 votes.

Fifth Ward has five provisional ballots, Stokes said.

He added that there were no “spoiled” ballots.

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