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Power outage results in precinct change

November 5, 2012
By Katie Kuba - Senior Staff Writer , The Inter-Mountain

Randolph County voters who normally cast their ballots at Bowden Fish Hatchery will instead be voting in Elkins on Tuesday, the day of the general election.

Due to a power outage at the hatchery, Randolph County Commission unanimously approved a motion to move Precinct 180 to the County Commission meeting room inside the James F. Cain Courthouse Annex.

The commission made the change during a special emergency meeting Sunday to discuss changing the precinct locations where electricity has not yet been restored in the wake of last week's destructive storm.

County Commission President Mike Taylor said the commission had been "in constant contact" with Mon Power and the West Virginia Secretary of State's office and had been assured by the power company that certain locations that didn't yet have power would by Election Day.

"Based upon our review as it stands, there is one precinct without power, and that is the Bowden Fish Hatchery," Taylor said.

Randolph County is divided into 27 voting precincts, and there are 450 people registered to vote in Precinct 180, according to information from the Randolph County Clerk's Office.

Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman recommended the commission approve moving Precinct 180 to the next adjacent polling location the courthouse annex.

Wiseman said that although the Secretary of State's Office had provided the county with two 30-kilowatt generators that could potentially power precinct locations where power was still out, she was uncomfortable utilizing generators to run voting machines.

"When we first looked at this, there were six (precincts) in question, but now it's down to one, which I'm glad about," Wiseman said. "But I'm a little apprehensive about using a generator to run voting machines. In my mind, if there's no electricity (at a precinct location), I didn't want to open it."

Wiseman noted that voters who normally vote in the commission meeting room at the annex will still do so on Election Day; a room divider will simply separate voters in that precinct from voters in Precinct 180.

Taylor said the county will use the generators provided by the Secretary of State's office as emergency back-up in the event that power goes out at a voting precinct.

"If necessary, we will do that," Taylor said, also noting that the county's voting machines can run for four hours on battery power.

In other Election Day-related business, Wiseman urged poll workers who have not been in contact with the her office since last week's storm struck to call her at 304-636-0543 or the commission office at 304-636-2057.

"If there are any poll workers out there that haven't gotten ahold of us, please get ahold of us," Wiseman said. "If you need transportation on Election Day, we can provide that and we'll continue calling to see who can work."

Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. throughout the state Tuesday.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant announced other prcicnt changes before Tuesdays' election, including:

n In Tucker County, the Sycamore Grove Church precinct will move to St. George United Methodist Church, 45 Minears Mill Run Road, Parsons.

n In Lewis County, the precinct at Roanoke School will move to Lewis County High School, 205 Minuteman Drive, Weston.

For more information about Election Day voting including precinct changes in other counties visit the Secretary of State's website at



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