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Adams says W.Va. state Senate race undecided

November 06, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- With 200 votes separating him from Democrat Herb Snyder in the race for a 16th District state Senate seat, Republican Bob Adams said Wednesday the race is undecided given absentee and provisional ballots that could be counted in the race.

Snyder said Wednesday night he doubts there would be enough absentee and provisional ballots to affect his lead over Adams and predicted new ballots would only change the vote outcome by about 24 votes.

"I would say it's over," Snyder said of the race.

Snyder, who formerly held the seat, picked up 26,670 votes in Jefferson and Berkeley counties in Tuesday's general election compared to the 26,470 going to Adams, according to returns.

On Wednesday, Adams said in a news release that he looks forward to all the votes cast in the election being counted.

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"Regardless of the ultimate outcome of the election, there is a legal process for electing representatives in West Virginia, and that continues on Monday," Adams said in the release.

On Monday, a canvass of the election returns will be conducted in Berkeley and Jefferson counties to review possible provisional -- or challenged -- ballots.

Provisional ballots contain errors in the voting process, like a voter casting ballots in the wrong precinct. Election officials examine the provisional ballots to determine if they should be allowed, although they are often rejected, said Bonnie Woodfall, deputy clerk in the Berkeley County Clerk's office.

On Wednesday, there were 144 absentee ballots that had not been returned in Berkeley County and 163 that had not been returned in Jefferson County. Those would have to be returned to their respective counties by the start of canvassing Monday to be counted, election officials said.

The number of any provisional ballots will not be known until Monday.

Adams said Wednesday he would not decide on a possible recount request until after canvassing is complete.

Snyder said he does not mind if Adams asks for a recount, although Snyder emphasized today's voting machines are "quite accurate."

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