Kanawha County commissioners will finalize the county election count Monday morning.
The Kanawha County Commission, sitting as the Board of Canvassers, will review approximately 900 provisional ballots and 51 absentee ballots at the Kanawha Voter’s Registration Office beginning at 7 a.m.
County commissions in West Virginia must canvass five days after Election Day to ensure the materials, equipment and results of an election are reviewed, corrected and officially recorded prior to the certification of an election, according to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.
“Sitting as the Board of Canvassers is one of the most important duties of a County Commissioner,” Kanawha Commission President Kent Carper said in a news release. “We will meet as long as it takes to make certain the final count is true and accurate. It is our job to ensure that all votes that can be counted, according to law, are counted.”
The canvass also includes a manual hand count of 3% of the precincts to ensure the accuracy of the electronic voting equipment, according to the release.
“At the end of the Canvass, the commission will declare the results of the election. By law, local races cannot be certified until 48 hours after the Canvass results are declared by the Board,” the release says.
Members of the public can view the canvass in person if COVID-19 safety protocols are followed, including wearing a face covering in the Voter Registration Office.
But there is considerable risk of infection because of the number of people that must be involved in the process, according to the release.
The canvass will also be live-streamed on the Kanawha County Facebook page.
“The Canvass could last several hours or all day,” Commissioner Ben Salango said. “We will be following all COVID-19 guidance to make sure our poll workers, employees and election observers are safe.”
Commissioner Hoppy Shores, who will sit one last time on the Board of Canvassers before his term ends, thanked the Kanawha County Clerk staff and county poll workers for their efforts this election.
“I want to again thank County Clerk Vera McCormick and her staff for all the hard work and long hours, he said. “They deserve our praise.”
The Kanawha Commission will hold a regular meeting, currently scheduled for noon, following the canvass.