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Ballot Blunders
WV Secretary Of State Mistakes Cost Taxpayers $200,000 With More Bills Possible
September 25, 2012

C L I C K   T O   P L A Y
West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s election opponent said a missed deadline for notifying voters of a proposed constitutional amendment is just the latest in series of mistakes and bad decisions by the Democratic incumbent.

“It's just another example of the lack of leadership, lack of knowing the constitution, lack of knowing the rules,” Republican Secretary of State candidate Brian Savilla said. “It's a simple date.”

In a new release, the state GOP detailed what it said are Tennant’s missteps. They include a primary election ballot error involving the number of Republican delegates, which carried with it a more than $200,000 price tag to fix.

The GOP also said Tennant has been on the losing end of several court decisions that cost the state money to defend.

However, Tennant said allegations that she is incompetent are untrue.

“He probably would say something to that matter,” Tennant said. “When you are six weeks away from an election and your opponent has nothing to show for what he's done as his term as an elected official, you're going to point out.”

Tennant freely acknowledges that her office erred in both the primary and general election ballot issues. But she maintains that there is plenty of information about the proposed constitutional amendment readily available.

“There have been mistakes made by my office and me, but we have also moved mountains at the same time,” Tennant said.

Savilla said what makes the situation worse is "now she acts like it's no big deal. I mean, the constitution is kind of a big deal. So we need to have somebody in there who is going to follow that, actually have a calendar, and, crazy thought, actually look at that calendar.”

It remains to be seen if the secretary of state's missed deadline on the notification of a constitutional amendment will cost taxpayers additional dollars.

Most observers say a court challenge is only expected if the measure eliminating term limits for West Virginia sheriffs passes. Even then, it's not a sure thing that someone would file a lawsuit to overturn the election result on the notification technicality.

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