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Razor-Close W.Va. Delegate Primary Races Go To Canvass

A voter casts a ballot.
Eva Bee
Vote canvassing highlights validating the provisional ballots cast.

The fate of three razor-close delegate races too close to call could be decided this week as canvassing begins across the state.

In the new 88th Delegate District, including parts of Hampshire and Mineral counties, on the Republican side, Rick Hillenbrand holds a one-vote lead over Keith Funkhouser.

The GOP race in McDowell County’s 36th Delegate District has Tom Acosta leading Anita Hall by one vote.

And in Wayne County’s Delegate District 28 Republican primary, Mark Ross leads incumbent Josh Booth by a one-vote margin.

Provisional ballots could make a difference as canvassing begins in these close races – if they get counted. State code says when a voter goes to the wrong precinct and casts a provisional ballot after being told by a poll worker where their new precinct is located – that ballot is not to be counted.

Voter registration clerks in Wayne County said they got hundreds of calls on election day, most due to statewide redistricting confusion.

Wayne County Board of Canvassers chair Kenneth Adkins said he’ll look closely at every one of the 126 provisional ballots in his District 28, while following the state’s new advice.

“Those new rules lend us to being as open minded as we can,” Adkins said. “We don't want to rush this thing.“

The Secretary of State’s office has asked canvassing boards to keep voters’ redistricting challenges in mind when determining the validity of provisional ballots.

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