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Tabb announces write-in campaign

May 17, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - Bob Tabb, who lost the Democratic primary race for the 55th House of Delegates seat by three votes, announced Wednesday outside the Jefferson County Courthouse that he will mount a write-in campaign in the general election on Nov. 7.

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Tabb said he feels compelled to run for the seat in the fall due to the fact there were about 20 votes that could not be counted in the election.

Had the votes been counted and it was determined that he was still the loser, Tabb said he would not have considered a write-in campaign.

The race will pit Tabb against the incumbent, Del. John Doyle, D-Jefferson, and Republican Anne Newcomer Dungan of Harpers Ferry.

When ballots were counted after the polls closed for last Tuesday's primary election, Tabb was ahead of Doyle by two votes. But there were about a dozen challenged votes and at least 17 absentee ballots that had not been counted, county voting officials said.

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When the Jefferson County Commissioners canvassed the outstanding ballots last Friday, Doyle slipped past Tabb by three votes to become the winner.

Jefferson County Clerk John Ott said about 20 votes had to be thrown out because they were missing signatures. State law requires that each ballot be signed by both poll clerks at each site.

Tabb said he had three choices following the election: Do nothing, try to have the courts review the election results or let the voters decide the fate of his candidacy.

"I have a lot more faith in the voters than in the court system. I choose to let the people determine in November what the outcome will be," Tabb said.

Tabb said he "doesn't fault anyone" in the election process. But he said "there were a lot of people who walked out of the precinct who thought they voted."

Tabb will have to file papers with the Secretary of State's office to become a write-in candidate, Ott said.

Ott said he believes Tabb will have to drop his affiliation with the Democratic party and file as an Independent since there is already a Democrat running in the race.

Tabb said Ott is "totally wrong."

Ott said he contacted officials with the Secretary of State's office who said he did not have to change his party.

Tabb's name will not appear on the ballot. To vote for Tabb, voters will have to punch a number that allows them to select a write-in candidate. Tabb's name will then have to be written on a "secrecy envelope" Ott said.

Tabb said he plans to familiarize county voters with the write-in ballot number to help them vote for him in the election. He said he may distribute stickers with his name already on it which can be affixed to the secrecy envelope.

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