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Upshur County Commissioner Sam Nolte tests out the voting machines ahead of the Jan. 15, 2022, special bond levy election. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik

County clerk announces early voting to begin Dec. 30, tests voting machines for school bond levy election

Editor’s note: A complete early voting schedule and other important times and dates regarding the upcoming Jan. 15, 2022, special bond levy election in Upshur County appears at the bottom of this article.

BUCKHANNON – The Upshur County Clerk on Thursday tested the county’s voting machines for the upcoming Jan. 15, 2022, bond levy election.

Upshur County Clerk Carol Smith publicly tested the voting machines Dec. 16 in preparation for early voting, which starts Dec. 30 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Upshur County Courthouse, 40 W. Main St.

“We are checking to make sure that the ballot styles are correct, and [the machines] say what they’re supposed to say and do what they’re supposed to do,” Smith explained. “We are also checking to make sure the machines are counting them and the software and computer that adds them all together is tabulating properly.”

The Upshur County Board of Education requested the use of the voting machines as opposed to paper ballots.

“They like the accuracy of the machines,” Smith said. “When you use a paper ballot, the people at the voting precinct have to tabulate the ballots after the polls close. The machines are actually more accurate because they’re tabulated as you go.”

The voting machines Smith’s office tested this week have been utilized in Upshur County since 2018, and they’ve enabled results to be calculated much more quickly.

“The machines are absolutely faster,” Smith said. “Even in 2020, we were done by 9:30 or 10 p.m., and I anticipate this will be done even quicker than that, provided everyone can get here because of weather.”

This ballot will only include one item to vote on, the bond levy. If passed the bond levy would help pay for the construction of a new comprehensive career-and-technical high school and renovations to the current high school that would transform it into a reimagined middle school. Both schools would be situated on the current Tennerton campus. The project’s total cost is estimated at $70 million, and should the measure pass, it would provide for about $49.4 million of that amount.

Upshur County Clerk Carol Smith gives instructions to county commissioner Sam Nolte, at left, as he prepares to test the voting machines Thursday. / Photo by Monica Zalaznik.

Smith encouraged voters to do their homework prior to casting their ballots.

“Everyone will be able to read the whole ballot,” Smith said. “We also have sample ballots, and I would encourage people read it to fully understand everything before you come to vote, if you can.”

Sample ballots for the Jan. 15 election may be found on the Upshur County Clerk’s website here.

The county clerk’s office also suggested voters check to make sure they have a proper form of identification to bring on Election Day or to early voting. Smith supplied a list of important early and regular voting dates, which appears at the bottom of this article.

“Voters should bring a form of identification – you can look on upshurcounty.org to look at the accepted identification methods — but almost anything works: your driver’s license, state ID, voter registration card,” Smith said. “There’s a whole list of things that work. My other piece of advice would be that if you’ve moved, please call my office to see if we have you at the correct precinct. So, basically, if your address has changed, you need to let us know before Dec. 27, 2021. If you haven’t changed it by Election Day, you can call my office and we can direct you to the correct precinct and there’ll be a provisional ballot, but it will count at the end.”

The two Saturdays during which registered voters may cast their ballots early include New Year’s Day, Jan. 1, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Jan. 8, 2022 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the last day to vote early before Election Day is Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the courthouse.

More information regarding the bond levy can be found on a previous My Buckhannon article here, and anyone with questions may call the county clerk’s office at 304-472-1068.

Early Voting Schedule

Jan. 15, 2022, School Bond Election

  • Thursday, December 30, 2021 — 8 a.m. to Noon (1st day of Early Voting)
  • Friday, December 31, 2021 — Holiday: closed.
  • Saturday, Jan. 1, 2022 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (1st Saturday of Early Voting)
  • Monday, Jan. 3, 2022 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 8, 2022 — 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (2nd Saturday of Early Voting)
  • Monday, Jan. 10, 2022 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2022 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022 — 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Last day of Early Voting)

Location: Upshur County Courthouse – 40 West Main Street, Buckhannon WV 26201

Election Day: Saturday, Jan. 15, 2022; Polls will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Voter Registration: Application may be obtained at upshurcounty.org or govotewv.com Dec. 27, 2021, which is the last day to register or update voter information.

Absentee Voting: Application may be obtained at upshurcounty.org or govotewv.com. The last day application to request an absentee ballot by mail may be accepted/received Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.

Sample Ballot: www.upshurcounty.org — Department tab – County Clerk

Precinct Locations: www.upshurcounty.org — Department tab – County Clerk

A Reminder to Voters in Precinct 9: Voters registered in Precinct 9 please note that the location has moved to City Hall 70 East Main Street Buckhannon, WV 26201. Entrance and parking are behind the building.

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