Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant has announced there will be supplemental instructions given to voters in the Republican primary after a mistake in voting instructions was discovered this morning.
The supplemental instructions will affect the voting for at-large delegates to the Republican National Convention only.
No other race will be affected.
Rules for the election of convention delegates are set by the state party. The West Virginia Republican Party has determined that three delegates are selected by virtue of their party office and without being elected. The other 28 delegates are elected by popular vote. The 28 elected delegates are divided between congressional districts – three for each district – and state-wide (at-large).
The instructions and programming for the Republican Party primary at-large restrict the voter to 18 selections even though 19 are to be elected. This was not discovered by the Secretary of State’s Office until today.
Secretary Tennant consulted with the State Election Commission about the corrections during an emergency meeting Wednesday afternoon.
“I will take every step necessary to ensure that every voter in the Republican primary will be permitted to vote every vote to which they are legally entitled,” Secretary Tennant said.
All in-person voters voting a Republican primary ballot will be handed a card with supplemental voting instructions that inform them that they may vote for up to 19 at-large delegates to the national convention.
The programming for all electronic voting systems will be redone to ensure that a person who votes for 19 at-large delegates does not get an “over vote” error message and that all 19 votes are counted.
Absentee Republican voters who have already been sent a ballot will be sent another ballot which they can choose to vote; their first ballot will be spoiled and not counted.
A total of 112 candidates statewide are running for at-large delegate to the Republican National Convention. Early voting in the primary begins April 25 and ends May 5. Election Day in West Virginia is May 8.