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Voters get chilly reception at Stonewall Middle

Chris Dorst
As voters leave the polling place at Stonewall Jackson Middle School, on Charleston's West Side, a Kanawha County Schools maintenance crew tries to restore heat inside the school's gymnasium.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The sun was shining outside Stonewall Jackson Middle School on Election Day, and a couple exiting the school said it was far warmer outside than in."Someone should have seen to it that the voting area was warm this morning. There are elderly people in there," said West Side resident Ronald Payne. "We saw [poll workers] wearing gloves, scarves and jackets."This was Payne's first time to vote at Stonewall. Previously he lived and voted in Fayette County.Another man who exited the polling place before noon said, "It's pretty chilly in there." But a woman who followed a few minutes later turned the temperature estimation down a notch. "It's freezing in there!" she said.
Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick said, "It was freezing. I felt sorry for the voters and the workers."As soon as she discovered the problem, McCormick said she called Terry Hollandsworth, who is in charge of maintenance for the Kanawha County Board of Education. She said he provided space heaters until a worker could get up on the roof and correct the problem.McCormick said she was not sure what caused the problem, but Hollandsworth's staff eventually got the heat restored before noon."I'm just sorry that it took so long to correct it," McCormick said.Reach Susan Williams at or 304-348-5112.
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