Charleston, W.Va. – Canvassing of the 2010 General Election is underway in West Virginia, and the Secretary of State’s Office is assisting several county clerks to help them through the process faster.
Much like on Election Day – and the day of the August special primary and the May primary – Secretary of State staff are spread to each corner of West Virginia.
The representatives from the Elections Division and Outreach Staff are answering questions and serving as liaisons between the counties and the Secretary of State’s Office.
Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant personally supervised the statewide outreach effort. Tennant is encouraging counties to complete the canvassing process as quickly as possible – because the sooner the results are canvassed and certified the sooner Senator-Elect Joe Manchin can be seated in Washington.
Tennant said the goal is to have all 55 counties canvassed by noon Tuesday. She said once all the counties are canvassed, a 48-hour period begins when a candidate can ask for a recount. But because Thursday is Veteran’s Day, a candidate could ask for a recount until Friday. Tennant said her office and the governor’s office would be able to sign the necessary paperwork on Friday so Manchin could be sworn in on Monday, November 15.
“The people of West Virginia will benefit from a quickly certified election and also a Senator with more seniority than the other Senators elected on November 2,” Tennant said. “We are on the scene in many counties – some for more than one day – just making sure questions get answered and that county clerks have help if they need it.”
The County Commissioners in West Virginia serve as Boards of Canvassers. During canvass, provisional ballots are reviewed and a percentage of the precincts in each county are recounted to ensure accuracy.
During the 2010 General Election, about 44 percent of West Virginians cast a ballot – the highest turnout for a midterm election since 1994. The Secretary of State’s Office also reported about 108,000 people cast a ballot during the 15-day early voting period – that is the most ever for a midterm election since Early Voting began in 2002.