TAYLOR COUNTY—Teamwork and dedication to the voting process made the election a smooth success for Taylor County, according to the Taylor County Clerk Georgianna Thompson.
Amid the current COVID-19 pandemic, typical voting procedures were altered, and additional safety measures were put in place to ensure the well-being of those visiting the polls, as well as this year’s election workers.
Each polling place was equipped with hand sanitizers, disinfectant sprays to clean the machines, disinfectant wipes to aid in the fight against COVID-19 and each poll worker was mandated to wear a facemask. In addition, cotton swabs were provided at each voting machine for residents to utilize in lieu of making selections with their fingers.
“Most of the disinfectant items were provided to us by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, to ensure that guidelines were being met,” Thompson revealed. “Our poll workers did an excellent job, and I did not receive one complaint that protocols were not being followed.”
She said that her staff and this year’s poll workers were a key aspect in the smooth operation of the 2020 General Election.
“I just want to offer my gratitude to these people, who made a potentially trying election, due to the virus, less trying,” Thompson voiced. “Due to their efforts, Taylor County was the first county in the state to report numbers.”
And while election day has come and gone, the work is still not done for the Taylor County Clerk’s Office.
“We will still have to complete our canvassing that could take up to a couple of weeks,” Thompson noted. “The results reported on election night will remain unofficial until a canvassing is done to ensure all votes are accurate.”
The canvassing accounts for every absentee ballot, along with every ballot cast during early voting and on election day, and Thompson revealed that this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more residents took advantage of the absentee voting process.
According to the Secretary of State’s West Virginia Election Calendar, accessible by visiting https://sos.wv.gov/FormSearch/Elections/Informational/West%20Virginia%20Election%20Calendar.pdf, absentee ballots without a post mark will be accepted one day after Election Day, if they are delivered by the US Postal Service or other express shipping service and received no later than that day.
In addition, all absentee ballots postmarked on or before election day, Tuesday, November 3, will be accepted until November 9, when the board of canvassers assembles to begin the election canvass.
“As of Tuesday night, after the initial early voting and absentee ballots had been tabulated by both Democratic and Republican representative, we received additional ballots, which will be added to the canvass,” explained Thompson. “At that time, there were approximately 10 absentee ballots, but additional ballots that had been post marked on or before election day could still potentially come in.”
The canvass will begin on November 9, and the board of canvassers will meet from day to day until the canvass is completed. Once the canvass is completed, results will be made public, and then within 48 hours, requests for a recount may be submitted.
“Once our local canvassing has been done, because all ballots will be accounted for, we will release the results by precinct,” said Thompson. “That information will become public knowledge and results may be obtained through my office.”