Canvass Begins

WHEELING – Ohio County commissioners this morning began the canvass of the May 13 primary election results as just four votes separate two candidates seeking to be the Republican nominee to a 3rd District House of Delegates seat.

Commissioners determined the fate of 74 provisional ballots cast in the election, overruling 43 of the ballots and permitting them to be added to vote totals. Four absentee ballots also have been received in the county since the election, and commission office employees were waiting to see if any additional ballots arrived with today’s mail.

Ballot commissioners Greg Smith, a Republican, and Frank Ellis, a Democrat, late this morning began the process of entering the votes from the provisional and absentee ballots into the ballot counting system. Final election tallies are expected to be complete this afternoon.

Among those present for today’s canvass were Dolph Santorine and Martin Sheehan, who are locked in a tight race for the GOP nomination to the 3rd District House seat.

Two seats are up for election, and Delegate Erikka Storch, R-Ohio, received the most votes in the race at 2,113. Election night results showed Santorine winning the second seat with 809 votes, and Sheehan close behind at 805. Chris Elswick received 463 votes.

Ohio County GOP chairwoman Patricia Levenson was in attendance, and State GOP Chairman Conrad Lucas is expected to be in Wheeling this afternoon to meet with the winner.

The race among Democrats for the 3rd District seats was separated by 78 votes on election night. Holli Smith received 1,771 votes; and Shawn Fluharty, 1,489, to win the Democratic nomination. Dave Palmer captured 1,411 votes.