§3-5-15. Ascertaining and certifying primary election results

Published: 2015

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WVC 3 - 5 - 15

§3-5-15. Ascertaining and certifying primary election results.

When the polls are closed in an election precinct where only

a single election board has served, the receiving board shall

perform all of the duties prescribed in this section. When the

polls are closed in an election precinct where two election boards

have served, both the receiving and counting boards shall together

conclude the counting of the votes cast, the tabulating and

summarizing of the number of the votes cast, unite in certifying

and attesting to the returns of the election and join in making out

the certificates of the result of the election provided in this

article. They shall not adjourn until the work is completed.

In all election precincts, as soon as the polls are closed and

the last voter has voted, the receiving board shall first process

the absentee ballots according to the provisions of section eight,

article three of this chapter. After the absentee ballots to be

counted have been deposited in the ballot box, the election

officers shall proceed to ascertain the result of the election in

the following manner:

(a) The receiving board shall ascertain from the poll books

and record separately on the proper form the total number of voters

of each party and nonpartisan voters who have voted.

(1) The number of provisional ballots of each party shall be

counted and subtracted from the number of voters of the same party,

which result should equal the number of ballots of that party

deposited in the ballot box.

(2) The total of all voters, including both partisan and

nonpartisan voters, minus the total of all provisional ballots,

should equal the number of nonpartisan ballots deposited in the

ballot box.

(3) The commissioners and clerks shall also report, over their

signatures, the number of each type of ballots spoiled and the

number of each type of ballots not voted.

(b) The procedure for counting ballots, whether performed

throughout the day by the counting board, as provided in section

thirty-three, article one of this chapter, or after the close of

the polls by the receiving board or by the two boards together,

shall be as follows:

(1) The ballot box shall be opened and all votes shall be

tallied in the presence of the entire election board;

(2) One of the commissioners shall take one ballot from the

box at a time and shall determine if the ballot is properly signed

by the two poll clerks of the receiving board. If not properly

signed, the ballot shall be placed in an envelope for the purpose

without unfolding it. If properly signed, the commissioner shall

announce which type of ballot it is and hand the ballot to a team

of commissioners of opposite politics, who shall together read the

votes marked on the ballot for each office. Write-in votes for

nomination for any office and write-in votes for election for any

person other than an official write-in candidate shall be


(3) The commissioner responsible for removing the ballots from

the box shall keep a tally of the number of ballots of each party

and any nonpartisan ballot as they are removed and whenever the

number of ballots of a particular party shall equal the number of

voters entered on the poll book for that party minus the number of

provisional ballots of that party, as determined according to

subsection (a) of this section, any other ballot found in the

ballot box shall be placed in the same envelope with unsigned

ballots not counted, without unfolding the same, or allowing anyone

to examine or know the contents thereof, and the number of excess

ballots of each party shall be recorded on the envelope;

(4) Each poll clerk shall keep an accurate tally of the votes

cast by marking in ink on tally sheets, which shall be provided for

the purpose so as to show the number of votes received by each

candidate for each office;

(5) When the votes have been read from a ballot, the ballot

shall be immediately strung on a thread, with separate threads for

each party's ballots and for nonpartisan ballots.

(c) As soon as the results at the precinct are ascertained,

the commissioners and clerks shall make out and sign three

certificates of result, for each party represented, of the vote for

all candidates of each party represented, on a form prescribed by

the Secretary of State, giving the complete returns of the election

at the polling place, which form shall include the following oath:

We, the undersigned commissioners and poll clerks of the primary election held at precinct No. .......... of ..........

district of .......... County, W.Va., on the .......... day of

.........., 20..., do hereby certify that having been first duly

sworn, we have carefully and impartially ascertained the result of

said election at said precinct for the candidates on the official

ballot of the .......... party, and the same is as follows:

The election officers shall enter the name of each office and

the full name of each candidate on the ballot and the number of

votes, in words and numbers, received by each. The election

officers shall also enter the full name of every official write-in

candidate for election to offices to be filled in the primary,

except delegate to national convention, and the number of votes for

each. Two of the certificates of result of election, for each

party, shall be sealed in separately addressed envelopes, furnished

for that purpose, and shall be disposed of by the precinct

commissioners as follows: Two of the sealed envelopes containing

the returns of each party shall be delivered to the clerk of the

county commission who shall, within forty-eight hours, mail one of

the sealed returns for each precinct by certified mail to the

Secretary of State. The one unsealed certificate shall be posted

on the outside of the front door of the polling place.

(d) All ballots voted for candidates of each party shall be

sealed in separate envelopes and the commissioners and clerks shall

each sign across the seal.

Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2015 Regular Session

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