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Wood County considering “drop box” options

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 5:45 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - Wood County is moving ahead with plans to install a “drop box” for residents to turn in completed absentee ballots for the November election.

It’s hoping to appeal to Governor Jim Justice to override existing guidelines for installing such a depository.

The commission wants to install a box-like the one pictured-at the courthouse-and perhaps in other locations-in spite of West Virginia guidelines saying that’s not allowed under current circumstances.

That’s what they’ve been told by the counsel for the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office.

“He said the only circumstance under which you might have a drop box, was if the courthouse happened to be closed during the pandemic," said Kathy Stoltz of the Wood County League of Women Voters, who spoke to the commission Monday, "and if the county commission declared an emergency.”

Discussion about the box, similar to what is used in other states, including Ohio, is a response to concerns from potential absentee voters a mail-in ballot might not reach the county clerk’s office in time for the November 3 election. (Ballots can also be delivered by voters in-person to clerks during their normal business hours.)

Absentee ballots are to be mailed out beginning Friday, to West Virginia voters who have requested them.

In Ohio, the Washington County Board of Elections plans to have a drop box installed outside of its headquarters on Marietta’s Davis Avenue by the beginning of October.

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