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Boards of canvassers meet Monday to review election results

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — County election officials will meet Monday to conduct a canvass of last week’s primary election.

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office requires county boards of canvassers to meet and review the election results. Absentee ballots postmarked by Election Day will also be accepted if received by the time of the boards’ meetings.

Deak Kersey (File)

County board of canvassers consists of local county commission members.

Deak Kersey, general counsel for the Secretary of State’s Office, said boards will address irregularities, absentee votes and provisional ballots cast in the wrong precincts.

“Once they have those results, they will declare them publicly, and that starts the audit process,” Kersey explained last week on “MetroNews Talkline.”

“During the post-election audit in every county, the board of canvassers will select at random at least 3% of the precincts of the county for a hand count. They’ll count those ballots in public by opposite political parties, and they’ll tally those on paper. And they’ll compare those tallies with the electronic returns,” Kersey added. “If there are any discrepancies, then the canvassers can investigate that and see how they resolve it. If they can’t resolve it, they will have a full hand count in the entire county of paper ballots and they’ll throw out the electronic returns to make sure the integrity of the election is upheld.”

Some of the results are too close for a projected winner; six House of Delegates races have a margin of victory of fewer than 10 votes.

“We could see outcomes announced on election night change,” Kersey said.

According to the Secretary of State’s Office, 22.7% of registered voters — around 258,000 people — participated in the primary election.

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