ELEANOR, W.Va. — An amendment that would have extended terms of office in Eleanor from two to four years failed for a fourth time in Tuesday’s town elections, and a race for a town council seat is stuck in a tie.
A decision over four provisional ballots is expected to break the tie between incumbent David Lewis and challenger Tom Sheridan, who both got 40 votes in the at-large race for the five-member council.
Recorder Lynda S. Casto said the decision on whether to count the provisional ballots, cast by individuals who weren’t on the voting books, will be made Monday. If the race is still a tie, the candidates will have 48 hours to call for a recount, and if a tie remains after that, they’ll draw lots until a winner is declared. Casto said she already knows three of those ballots are ineligible, and she’s still checking on one.
Mayor Walter “Fred” Halstead and Casto ran unopposed and won re-election. Casto received the most votes out of any candidate, 82, in a town with 1,100 registered voters. Only 121 people voted in the elections.
Incumbent Kevin Childers, with 69 votes, won a council seat, along with incumbent Kim Clendenin, at 64 votes, incumbent Jack R. McClane, at 59 votes, and challenger Cam Clendenin, at 58 votes.
Challenger Jason Cartwright came in seventh with 31 votes, so he won’t earn a seat. The winners will take office July 1.
The term of office extension was defeated 73-32. Halstead said the amendment first appeared on the ballot somewhere around 2006 or 2008. He said at first it lost by only a few votes, but it has been defeated soundly more recently.
Halstead said the current terms are so short that by the time new council members just get acquainted with their positions they are already running for re-election.
“Most towns are changing to four years, and we’d like to see it changed,” he said.
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