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Wood County looks to November election

Wood County officials are looking ahead to the November election and how it will be affected by the pandemic.
Wood County officials are looking ahead to the November election and how it will be affected by the pandemic.(WDBJ)
Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 6:33 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2020 at 6:43 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) -With the primary behind it, Wood County looks ahead to the November election-and how it will be affected by the pandemic.

County Clerk Mark Rhodes told the county commission Monday, if mail-in ballots make up a large portion of the votes cast-as was the case with the June 9 primary-sending them out will be a simpler process.

In the primary, the clerk’s office had to send separate ballots out to Democratic, Republican and non-partisan voters. In the general election, all ballots will be the same instead of being separate Democratic and Republican ballots.

And Rhodes says requests for those ballots are already coming in.

“The way the law stands right now, without the governor’s executive order that went into effect, we cannot mail an absentee ballot application to every voter,” Rhodes told the commission. “So they will actually have to contact our office. They have to initiate the contact instead of us initiating the contact.”

And the commission is getting requests from judges for alternative sites for jury trials.

That’s because of social distancing guidelines for jurors, attorneys, defendants and other participants.

Monday was the first day those trials could resume throughout West Virginia, according to the state supreme court.

The Judge Black Annex’s conference room is one location being considered, with the Smoot Theater another under consideration.

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