Berkeley County finally gets working voting tabulator

May 09, 2002|BY SARAH MULLIN

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - After Tuesday's encounter with a faulty voting ballot tabulator, Berkeley County election officials expressed relief when the new one arrived Wednesday morning and worked without any glitches.

Berkeley County Clerk John W. Small Jr. said the Chicago-based company, Elections Systems and Software, sent the replacement tabulator overnight. The new tabulator underwent seven tests Wednesday afternoon.

Ron Pugh of Dayton Legal Blank was contracted by the Chicago company to test the tabulator using sample ballots from seven of the county's 58 precincts.


"It worked good today," said Deputy County Clerk Max Sharff.

The tabulator will be tested again at 6 p.m. Tuesday, before the polls close for Tuesday's primary elections.

The polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m.

Testing tabulators isn't the only thing the clerk's office is doing in preparation for the primary elections.

Election officials began packing the portable blue and silver voting cases that house the ballots with the appropriate Republican, Democrat and nonpartisan ballots Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Berkeley County Courthouse.

Small said it will take about two days to pack the 273 voting cases.

The 58 messengers in charge of picking up and transporting the voting cases, the black suitcases containing the poll slips and the black books containing voter registration to the polls Tuesday morning, will arrive at the Berkeley County Court House on Monday after the absentee voting poll closes at 1 p.m.

Small said he has enough poll workers this year and even has about six in reserve.

There are 290 poll workers, of which 58 are messengers and 58 are shotgun riders who travel with the messengers to make sure the ballots arrive at the courthouse, Small said.

The poll workers receive $115 for election day and $25 to take the training class. A messenger receives an additional $25 and the shotgun rider receives an additional $10.

Small said the county spends from $22,000 to $25,000 on elections.

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