Begin Absentee Counting Early

Election workers in West Virginia have a track record of which to be proud. On election days, votes usually are counted quickly and precisely.

This election, with an enormous amount of interest here and in other states, presents challenges, however. One of them is counting absentee ballots.

Like many states, ours allows people to “early vote” for several days before an election. We still use old-fashioned paper absentee ballots, too. They can be used by voters who, for one reason or another, don’t expect to be able to go to the polls on Tuesday.

By Friday afternoon, 1,384 absentee ballots had been submitted in the Northern Panhandle. Ohio County, with 493, had the most.

Those ballots have to be opened and recorded by hand on Tuesday. That will take at least five hours, according to Ohio County elections coordinator Tony Chieffalo.

We encourage election workers throughout our area to begin processing absentee ballots as soon as practical on Tuesday – early in the morning, if at all possible. The sooner that work is completed, the better.