Warner confident situation about possible uncounted votes in Morgan County will be resolved

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. — Morgan County Clerk Kim Nickles is working to find out why 245 votes in her county’s May primary election may have gone uncounted.

Mac Warner

Nickles sent a letter out to candidates explaining that they’d been notified of the discrepancy between the voter history as compared to the number of ballots cast.

Secretary of State Mac Warner said his office noticed the possible issue when election information was submitted to his office for review.

“This shows that the check and balances in the system does work,” Warner said during a Monday appearance on MetroNews “Talkline.” “The clerks have 120 days after the primary to get this voter history information to us. As it comes in, Brittany Westfall our elections director, reviews that information and on September 7 she caught that discrepancy and notified Morgan County immediately.”

The issue may be related to two machines used during early voting. Nickles says her office will release a statement once they’ve learned more. She said they are working ‘diligently’ with the Secretary of State’s office to resolve the issue.

Warner said Nickles and her staff seem to be on top of it.

“They’ve notified the candidates. They have a county commission meeting this Wednesday to address the issue,” Warner said. “It could have been human error or machine error. They’ll get to the bottom of this Wednesday.”

Nickles said her office is in the process of obtaining the flash cards used by the voting machines in order to discover the “origin of the discrepancy.”

Nickles said two races in particular were affected, the Republican County Commission Race between Bill Clark and Gary “GW” Easton and the Republican Primary Race in the 89th Delegate District between Del. Ruth Rowan and Darren Thorne. Rowan was upset in that race by less than 40 votes.

The Morgan County Clerk’s office reports 2,733 ballots were cast in the Primary election, with 461 of those through early voting. Of that total number, 429 early voters were registered as Republicans and 69 as Non partisan. Unaffiliated voters may choose to vote in a partisan primary of their choice in West Virginia.

The Secretary of State’s Office reports 12,566 voters were registered in May of this year in Morgan County.

Wednesday’s special meeting begins at 10:45 a.m. in the county commission room in Berkeley Springs.

Nickles said they’ll be discussing steps that are to be taken.

Warner said they are working against an upcoming deadline. He said the first early ballots to military members are scheduled to be mailed beginning this Friday.

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