11 June 2009

More Tough Sledding for W.Va. Muni Elections

This week's municipal elections saw the polls open in Bruceton Mills, Preston County (pop. 74) for just two hours Tuesday, The Associated Press reports.

Mayor Lisa Loughry told AP's Vicki Smith that the town lacked enough volunteers for the state-required 13 hours.

"According to state code, poll workers cannot be office holders or related to anybody on the ballot. That pretty much limits it," Loughry said. "Then you have people who work. Plus, this is a community of older people who can't sit at the polls all day."

But, the shortened hours still allowed "21 of the town's 30 registered voters cast ballots in uncontested elections for mayor and council," the article said. (Loughry did not run.)

The article also cites legislation passed during this year's regular session "to allow towns of less than 2,000 to conduct early voting by mail."

During the 2007 municipal elections, just 215 Morgantown residents showed up to vote with the mayor's office and seven council seats on the ballot.

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