Charleston, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant, the state’s chief elections officer, said transparency from her office and teamwork among election officials around the state helped make the special election for governor a success.
According to unofficial results posted on the Secretary of State’s website, Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin won the special election for West Virginia Governor with 148,625 votes, or 49.6 percent. He was followed by Republican Bill Maloney with 140,631 votes, Mountain Party candidate Bob Henry Baber with 6,049 votes, Independent Marla Ingels with 2,838 votes, and Harry Bertram with 1,099 votes. Write-in candidates received 426 votes.
According to the decision from the State Supreme Court that ordered the special election after former Governor Joe Manchin was elected to the United States Senate, the winner must be sworn in by noon on November 15 – exactly one year after Manchin resigned.
Canvassing of the results will begin on October 11.
“From the very beginning this winter, we here in the Secretary of State’s Office have worked closely with election officials in all 55 counties to hold this special election,” Tennant said. “And we’ve done it through transparency and constant communication. That’s what people have come to expect from my office, and they can look forward to it as we move forward to the presidential elections of 2012.”
The Secretary of State’s Office positioned liaisons throughout the state to help maintain quick communication among election officials. These representatives were also able to move from precinct to precinct to answer questions from election officials. Secretary Tennant also hosted several live webcasts throughout the day, showing citizens what goes on at the State Capitol on Election Day. During one webcast when Secretary Tennant declared the polls closed, people in 16 states and from as far away from Germany were logged on to watch.
According to the unofficial results, 299,668 people voted in the special election for governor for a total voter turnout of 24.7 percent. Counties that had the highest voter turnout were Barbour (38 percent), Lewis (38 percent) Doddridge (35 percent), Upshur (32 percent), Putnam (31 percent), Braxton (30 percent), and Marshall (30 percent).
That number includes at least 57,113 people who voted absentee or during the early voting period. The early voting total accounted for about 19 percent of the total number of votes cast.