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Election officials face challenges going into the Primary Election

WTAP News @ 10 - Election Challenges
Published: Mar. 25, 2022 at 8:58 PM EDT
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Because of major technical glitches, Wood County election officials are now manually updating precincts. It’s just the tip of the iceberg of what’s been a trying pre-election season.

The 2020 census data release delay was just the beginning of challenges for election officials. That delay pushed back redistricting too. On top of redistricting causing precinct changes, the state-wide voter registration system underwent major upgrades, which ended up presenting major glitches.

Wood County Clerk Mark Rhodes said the decision to move voters to their updated precincts manually came after a recent incident.

“Last Thursday night, we ran a pass that should’ve moved 700 - almost 700 people. 510 of them went to the wrong place,” he said.

Since then, it’s been all hands on deck.

“Since we started doing this manually then I pulled in a couple other people and it’s one of those we will assign a street to them and say ‘alright you’re going through this street and you’re moving everybody into this precinct,’” Rhodes said.

Even the WVU GIS department helped out.

Now election officials are double-checking the software’s precinct choices on top of moving voters to the correct precincts manually.

“What we’re sending out should be the correct precinct for every voter.”

Rhodes said, if your precinct location is changing, you should get a heads up in the mail in the next week and a half to two weeks.

8,000 people in the county will be affected by these changes.

“May 10th will still be election day and we’ll still have an election and hopefully everybody will be in the right place but I do think we’ll make the deadlines and I think we’ll be ready for the early voting start,” Rhodes said.

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