MASON — Unofficial tallies in Tuesday’s municipal election in Mason showed Incumbent Mayor Donna Dennis as the apparent winner over Heath Engle for that seat, but there is a possibility that might change Monday.
The election canvass has been set for Monday at 5:15 p.m. at the town hall, when it will be determined if two provisional ballots that were cast will be counted.
A provisional ballot is used to record a vote when there are questions about a person’s eligibility. The question must be answered to determine if the person was eligible to vote and if the ballot should be counted.
Dennis received 67 votes to Engle’s 65. If the provisional ballots are counted, and each voted for Engle, that could possibly bring Engle’s votes to 67. In the event of a tie, according to the Municipal Elections Guide issued by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, the winner shall be decided by “lot,” which could be a name drawn from a hat, the flip of a coin, or other measures.
Monday’s election canvass is open to the public. There must be a quorum of the council members present to conduct the canvass, and all members participate in the procedure, even though they might have been a candidate on the ballot, according to the election guide.
Ballots will not be re-tallied during the canvass. It is designed to create a record verifying that the ballots were properly accounted for, and to decide whether provisional ballots can be counted based on information available within the election materials. When the canvass is completed, the results of the election are declared.
The results will be certified 48 hours after the canvass, unless a recount request has been filed. Only a candidate may request a recount, which must be submitted in writing within 48 hours after the declaration of the results.
The candidate filing for a recount must also pay a bond. The council determines the bond amount at the time of the canvass.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.