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County clerks discuss election season amid pandemic

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — County clerks across West Virginia have adapted to the changing landscape caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

With nearly a quarter of registered voters asking for an absentee ballot, county clerks had to prepare for receiving and handling mail-in votes, as well as handling voters at early voting and Election Day polling locations.

Tucker County Clerk Sherry Simmons said the situation forced them to make changes.

“We have been able to process 1,692 ballots,” she said last week on MetroNews “Talkline.”

“We have received 1,517 ballots. We still have 175 ballots out, but we’re doing personal calling to get the ballots back in.”

Tucker said most early voters in her county chose to voter using a mail-in ballot.

Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood noted in a separate appearance on “Talkline” poll workers have recorded fewer voters during the early voting period than in previous elections, which is a good thing.

“It gives us a little bit of breathing room to kind of prepare and get all the details for Election Day figured out,” he said.

Saturday marked the final day of the early voting period. Absentee ballots must be hand-delivered to county clerks by Monday or postmarked by Tuesday. Absentee ballots that are mailed without a postmark will be accepted on Wednesday.

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