Camilletti seeks election hearing

June 20, 2000|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - David Camilletti is contesting the results of the May 9 Circuit Court judge Democratic primary in Berkeley County.

After the primary, a canvass and a recount, Gray Silver III is ahead of Camilletti by 39 votes - 3,843 to 3,804.

Camilletti contends that well over 100 ballots are in dispute.

On Monday, Camilletti filed a request for a hearing on ballots that have been either disputed or rejected by the County Commissioners.

He has also raised questioned about election procedures, particularly in precincts where the number of ballots distributed did not match the number turned in.


He sent notice of his appeal to Silver, to the Berkeley County Commission and to Gov. Cecil Underwood's office.

The West Virginia Secretary of State's office has said that election law requires that a County Commission preside over a contest hearing in a Circuit Court judge primary. Both candidates are allowed to argue their cases over whether specific ballots should be counted.

If it were a general election, a panel of three people - one chosen by one candidate, one by the other candidate and one by the governor - would preside, according to the secretary of state's office.

Camilletti said he reads the election to law to say that he can choose between the County Commission and the special panel. He said the latter seems more appropriate.

Just in case, he filed notices requesting both types of hearings.

If the County Commission presides, its decision could be appealed to the Circuit Court, then to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, according to election law.

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