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 Secretary of State’s Office Handles Many Routine Issues On Election Day

10/5/2011

    Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant said today her office handled several routine election calls while citizens went to the polls to choose the state’s new Governor.
 
    Tennant said election officials around the state are to be congratulated for a successful election – the fifth statewide election since May of 2010.
 
    The staff of the Secretary of State’s Office began taking calls at 5:00 AM on Election Day and more than two dozen liaisons assisted election officials around the state until after 11:00 PM.
 
    Some of the routine calls Tennant reported:

            - A power outage at a precinct. The people in the precinct at the time of the power outage voted on machines with battery backup. Voting was not interrupted.
            - A poll worker who slipped and fell had to be taken to the hospital. The injured poll worker was quickly replaced and voting was not interrupted.
            - Several voters reported receiving phone calls telling them that their precinct had been moved. The Secretary of State’s Office quickly issued a statewide press release notifying media and voters that it would be highly unusual for election officials to contact voters on Election Day with that type of information. Citizens were instructed to contact their county clerk or the Secretary of State’s Office to confirm their polling place.
            - A middle school football game caused a minor parking issue at a precinct at the school.
            - Signs for a fire levy were inside the 300-foot “no electioneering” zone and were removed by a Secretary of State liaison.
            - One report that a touch screen voting machine did not record the correct vote. The county clerk verified that the voting machine was working correctly.
            - Some calls expressing confusion over the “Straight Party” option on the ballot.

    Secretary Tennant said her office relies on voters to call her office to report a possible election law violation.

    “If someone witnessed something they think was a violation, I want them to call the Secretary of State’s Office,” Tennant said. “But we need eyewitnesses, not unsubstantiated rumors. It is the duty of my office to investigate election law, but the security of our elections is really in the hands of the voters. They’re our eyes and ears, and if someone saw something, it’s up to them to call us. Their names will be kept confidential.”

    The Secretary of State’s Office can be reached by calling (304) 558-6000 or 1-866-767-8683.

    Unofficial results of the special election can be found on the Secretary of State’s website at www.wvsos.com.

    Canvassing of the results will begin on October 11.

Contact:

Jake Glance
(304) 558-6000
jglance@wvsos.com