EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSNO RECOUNT REQUESTS
from Eyewitness News Online
Kanawha County Officials Say No Recount Requests Made By Deadline
Reported by: Jeff Morris
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Jeff Morris
Reported: Nov. 8, 2012 11:19 AM EST
Updated: Nov. 16, 2012 2:59 PM EST
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Kanawha County officials said no recount requests for the general election were received by Friday morning's deadline.
There had been a question as to whether longtime Democratic incumbent Bobbie Hatfield would ask for a recount in the 35th District House of Delegates race for the fourth and final spot. She had finished 41 votes behind Republican John B. McCuskey after a provisional count of ballots.
County Manager Jennifer Sayre said in a news release the deadline for making a recount request was 10:07 a.m. Friday, and County Clerk Vera McCormick said no requests were received.
Commission President Kent Carper is working with McCormick to schedule the certification of the general election, the release said. The date and time of the certification will be announced at a later time.
The Kanawha County Commission has completed the review of the provisional ballots for the Nov. 6 General Election, according to a release from County Manager Jennifer Sayre. The Commission sitting as a Board of Canvassers reviewed 1,100 provisional ballots and oversaw the required 5% hand count, which is 8 precincts for Kanawha County.
"The Kanawha County Commission and the Honorable Vera McCormick did there very best to follow the law and count all provisional ballots that could be counted based on State Code," Commissioner Kent Carper said.
The margin of victory for the unofficial results changed by 41 votes in the House of Delegates 35th Delegate District.
"We cannot stress enough that the declaration of the election tally is not the final step in the process," Carper said.
Throughout the continuance of this process the Kanawha County Commission and the Clerk of Kanawha County will adhere to WV State Code until the process is complete. State code will be adhered to by the Kanawha County Commission and Clerk until the process is completed.
The Kanawha County Commission will announce the date of the certification of the election at a later date and will give sufficient and proper notification of said meeting.
After the provisional ballots were counted, Republican House of Delegates candidate John McCuskey held onto his advantage over Democrat incumbent Bobbie Hatfield.
McCuskey entered the canvass leading Hatfield by 64 votes for the fourth and final 35th District seat. The revised count put McCuskey ahead by 41.
"The way the votes have come out I'm ahead" McCuskey said. "So as of today I feel pretty excited about taking myself up to the House of Delegates and trying to get some good work done."
Hatfield said although she was hopeful the canvass would yield a different result she realized she faced very long odds.
"This is good that they are reconsidering some of the ones that may have made a mistake, may have changed their address," Hatfield said. "And they should have the opportunity to have their vote counted if it's legal and that's what this process is about."
Although county commissioners say they expect Hatfield to ask for a recount, she says she is considering her options. If she moves forward with a request, Hatfield would have to post a $300 bond and pay for the recount unless the race result is overturned. If that happens, the county picks up the tab. Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick estimates a recount would cost about a thousand dollars.
"I couldn't imagine a recount changing it at this point," McCuskey said. "The way that the votes are tallied is incredibly accurate. Is it possible? Probably. Is it probable? I think not."
With the provisional count of ballots completed in the Kanawha County election canvass, Republican John B. McCuskey still leads by 41 votes in the fourth and final spot to win a seat in the 35th House District race over Democrat incumbent Bobby Hatfield.
There are still random hand counts of precincts, but that is not expected to change the totals. Only four people are elected in the district. Hatfield finished in the fifth position.
Once the election is declared, any candidate will have 48 hours to ask for a recount.
With interest high in a close race in a legislative race, the canvass of the general election in Kanawha County began Tuesday morning at the Voter Registration Office.
A lot of the attention was expected to be focused on the 35th District House of Delegates, where there is only a 64-vote difference between the fourth and fifth place candidates. Only four candidates are elected in the 35th District. Republican J.B. McCuskey finished in fourth place, ahead of longtime Democratic lawmaker Bobby Hatfield.
Commission President Kent Carper said the canvass would continue until the canvass is completed.
County Clerk Vera McCormick said there are about 1,100 provisional ballots to be reviewed during the canvass.
The Kanawha County Commission will meet as the Board of Canvassers on Tuesday to begin the canvass of the general election.
The canvass will begin at 7 a.m. at the Kanawha County Voter Registration Office, according to a news release from County Manager Jennifer Sayre.
Commission President Kent Carper said the canvass will continue until it “is finished, however long it takes.”
County Clerk Vera McCormick said there are about 1,100 provisional ballots to be reviewed during the canvass. Carper reviewed information from the 2008 presidential general election and said there were 1,300 provisional ballots that were reviewed during that canvass, which began at 7 a.m. and was completed at about 7:15 p.m.
Absentee ballots that were received by Election Day were counted and are included in the final cumulative totals from election night results. Absentee ballots that are received at Voter Registration between Tuesday through the morning of the canvass, will be counted at canvass and included in the final cumulative totals at that time.
Carper said in the release that the 35th House District Race is one race that will likely be closely watched during the canvass. “The public elects four members to the 35th District and right now, before canvass there is a 64-vote difference between the fourth and fifth candidates,” Carper said.
According to West Virginia state code, once the canvass is completed, each county will declare the results. The election cannot be certified until 48 hours following the final county completing its canvass and declaring its results. The Kanawha County Commission will announce the date of the certification of the election at a later time, once it is determined when all counties have completed canvass.
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