Drop boxes: Ohio will have them, West Virginia won’t

West Virginia governor supports in-person voting as completed absentee ballots pour in
Mail In Ballot Drop Box
Mail In Ballot Drop Box(WCJB)
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:05 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va (WTAP) - West Virginia’s governor indicated to us when he visited Parkersburg Tuesday he’s more of an advocate of in-person, rather than mail-in voting.

“We need more and more workers at the polls to handle our vote, and I’m a real advocate of in-person voting,," Justice says, "so we want to get the people out to the polls, that’s for sure.”

The Wood County Commission had asked the governor to consider allowing, under a state of emergency issued at the start of the pandemic in March, drop-in ballot boxes, at the very least at county courthouses, for the November election.

Research indicated there are no guidelines for West Virginia’s Secretary of State to do that unless courthouses are closed, as the Wood County Courthouse was last spring.

“There’s concern the positivity rate will be rising during the month of October," Commission President Blair Couch said recently. "So, will we get a wider outbreak?”

Ohio’s Secretary of State, Frank LaRose, has allowed drop boxes at board of elections offices. He’s been taken to court to allow others in various locations,

This, as there’s concern about the U.S. Postal Service being able to deliver them on time.

“As long as they’re postmarked before the election, they can still come into our office and they can be counted,” says Karen Pawloski, Deputy Director, Washington County Board of Elections.

In Tuesday’s presidential debate, President Donald Trump claimed a postal worker in West Virginia was “selling ballots”. Secretary of State Mac Warner issued a statement Wednesday saying it was absentee ballot applications that were altered, and the worker pleaded guilty in July to attempted election fraud and injury to the mail after changing five ballot requests from Democrat to Republican. He also altered three other ballot applications by circling the word ``Republican'' in a different color ink than what was used on the forms. 

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)

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