The recent vote re-count failed to yield hoped for results for two different parties. Re-counts were held on behalf of both Tucker County School Board and candidate Ken Auvil. The Board of Education requested the levy vote counted and Auvil who was running for West Virginia House of Delegates 47th District asked for a re-count on certain precincts in Tucker County.
Both items failed during the original count by miniscule numbers and both parties felt the race was close enough to merit a re-count. They were willing to put up a bond of $300.00 each and costs, which they would lose if the count went against them.
The re-count was held in County Commission meeting room, 3rd floor of the Courthouse Annex. Sherry Simmons, County Clerk, administered the re-count with Jane Halgh, reading off each ballot to the counters. Representatives from the county commission, Diane Hinkle, Lowell Moore, and Mike Rosenau acted as counters as well as Shelly Bolyard, Chief Deputy Clerk.
Simmons started the lengthy process by administering the Oath of Office to the assembled group. They then reviewed the process of the recount .
The first to be re-counted was the School Levy which had originally failed by one vote. Dr. Eddie Campbell, Superintendent of Tucker County Schools was in attendance and kept his own personal count along with the official counters. Throughout the morning several other school board members stopped in to see how the count was faring. Judging by each individual precinct the levy seemed to have the strongest support with the “top of the mountain” voters. Early on, the “against” vote gained an unexpected one when a ballot was found not adequately marked for the computer to have counted it in the original count. Greenwall had to make a determination of “voter intent” and the ballot was shown to not only the counters but witnesses and media who all concurred with the determination. The levy gained a vote in another precinct, but lost another vote later in the count.
The final official count for the school board levy will stand at: Against- 689, For-687. Had the vote ended in a tie, it would have then been sent on to the West Virginia Governor’s office for his determination of the outcome.
Upon completion of the count Dr. Campbell had this to say about the outcome: “Obviously we’re disappointed. Our disappointment is for the kids. I talked to so many people who were in support of the levy but either failed to vote or didn’t have the chance to vote. We plan to put it (levy request) back out in November. Hopefully those people who supported it but didn’t vote will come out then and we’ll easily overcome those two vote.”
Next count of the day was requested by candidate Auvil who was in a race against Tammy Stemple . A representative for Stemple, Eloise Hollen, was in attendance. No one was present on behalf of Auvil.
Auvil had asked for three local districts to be re-counted. Precincts 3,4, and 5.
Even though Auvil had won in all three of those precincts against Stemple by a healthy margin, the way the district falls, Tucker County’s votes are combined with votes from areas in Barbour County which make up the 47th district. The race was another breath-taking close one with Auvil previously losing by one vote.
During the re-count, Stemple ended up picking up two extra votes due to improperly marked ballots. Voter intent was obvious on each one however, and like before they were shown around the room to all assembled.
In the Auvil- Stemple race the final official count will stand at: Auvil- 181, Stemple- 139. These will be combined with the recounted vote in Barbour County to determine the winner.
These two races are proof positive that every single person’s vote matters.