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Lewis County Hosted State’s First Election with New Voter ID Law

The Free Press WV

Secretary of State Mac Warner is pleased that the state’s first election to take place under the new voter identification law was successful and without any issues or problems.

On Saturday, January 6th, Lewis County hosted the state’s very first countywide election to take place since the new law took effect on January 1st. The Lewis County Commission asked voters to approve a new excess levy to support the county’s volunteer fire departments. Polls were open in 24 voting precincts from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. 

According to Lewis County Clerk Cindy Rowan, just about 25 percent of the county’s 9,655 registered voters participated in the Fire Levy election. Unofficial results showed that voters rejected the levy with a vote of 33 percent for and 67 percent against the measure. The County Commission will conduct an official canvas on Friday at 9 a.m.

Prior to the election, Rowan hosted poll worker training on the new voter identification law. There was also a coordinated effort with the Secretary of State’s Office to educate voters.

“I spoke with Clerk Rowan during the election on Saturday. She was confident that her poll workers, as well as Lewis County voters, were prepared for the new law. She indicated that everything was going really well,” Secretary Warner said.

According to Secretary of State Field Representative Dot Underwood who covers Lewis County, on Saturday there were a couple of questions about the new law during the day, but that every issue was addressed. All of the 2,373 residents who showed up to vote on Saturday were able to provide one of the many allowable forms of proper identification as required by law. All in-person voters were verified and no one was turned away.

Warner said he plans to talk more with Clerk Rowan and her staff next week to see what suggestions they may have to help other counties and municipalities with elections taking place over the next two months.

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