MORGANTOWN – Despite being delayed a month due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an historic number of absentee ballots, Tuesday’s primary election went off without a hitch in Monongalia County. Longtime County Clerk Cayre Blaney and her staff had been working around the clock, essentially preparing for three elections leading up to Tuesday, facilitating expanded absentee voting, early voting and the traditional election day.
“They have worked so hard since March to process these absentee ballots,” said Blaney. “It has taken literally 20 to 25 people every day to manage that large of a process.”
According to Blaney 14,659 absentee ballots were requested and 12,250 were included in the unoffical results Tuesday night. That leaves the door open for more than 2,300 ballots that were postmarked by yesterday to come into the clerk’s office over the next few days.
There was a steady flow of voters at the polls throughout the day in Monongalia County that helped pushed turnout numbers close to 2016 levels. Nearly 25,000 voters came out ot the polls in the most recent presidential primary election. Tuesday, 21,969 voters, about 31 percent, turned out in Monongalia County. Social distancing guidelines were in place at the polls for the first time and did not seem to bother any of the voters.
“I think everyone did great. We did not get one complaint into the office about social distancing and we took a lot of steps to protect out poll workers,” said Blaney.
All results are unofficial until the county commission meets as the board of canvassing on Monday to certify the election.