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Voting machine problems reported in Cabell County days before election

Voting machine problems reported in Cabell County days before election
Voting machine problems reported in Cabell County days before election(WSAZ)
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 8:05 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Just days before the general election, officials discovered a problem with the voting machines and a particular race in Cabell County.

“Most Americans will agree the one thing that citizens and the voters of this country are most sacred is your ability to cast a ballot,” said Gordon Jones, a commissioner with the Greater Huntington Park Board.

The ballot may say vote one for each district for the park commissioner race, but Jones says voters will only be able to cast a vote once due to voting machines not being properly set up.

The West Virginia Secretary of State’s office confirmed to WSAZ that the voting machines in Cabell County for the Greater Huntington Park Board Commissioner race were set up prior to the beginning of early voting to accept one vote. That’s rather than the three based on the number of candidates running for the election set by state statutes.

However, if you vote by an absentee ballot, you’ll be able to mark all three candidates if you chose.

“If you vote by a paper ballot, there is nothing to stop you. It says vote one for each district. With a pen, you can vote three times. If you vote by machine, you vote for the candidate first listed. This is as far the machine will allow you to go,” Jones said.

It would be up to the county clerk to fix the voting machines. However, since the candidates are running unopposed, Cabell County Clerk Phyllis Smith says it’s not reasonable because she would have to stop the entire election to fix the problem.

Smith says changes would be made to the machines, had the candidates have opposition or if a write-in candidate was listed.

"This is not as much as an issue this go around because we’re all unopposed, but that’s not always what happens, "Jones said. “Elections have consequences, and this would have a serious consequence if any of us had faced opposition. I hope this will be corrected for the 2022 election.”

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