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Most absentee ballots returned in Northern Panhandle

WHEELING — More than 13,000 absentee ballots were requested by Northern Panhandle voters for the Nov. 3 general election, and more than 80 percent of them already have been returned.

Wednesday marked the last day voters could request an absentee ballot in West Virginia. Absentee ballots being mailed in to election offices must be postmarked by Election Day and received by the start of the election canvass on Nov. 9.

Those being hand delivered to election offices must be submitted before the end of the business day Monday — the day prior to Tuesday’s election.

Although a voter does not have to personally return his or her absentee ballot, no individual may deliver more than two voters’ absentee ballots, according to information from the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office.

The office had expected about 80 percent of all absentee ballots to be returned, but that number already has been exceeded across West Virginia and by most counties in the Northern Panhandle.

In total, 13,641 absentee ballots were requested in the six Northern Panhandle counties, and 11,203 had been returned as of Thursday. That is an overall return rate of 82 percent.

¯ The most absentee ballots were requested in Ohio County, which has 30,994 registered voters. There were 5,322 absentee ballots requests there, and 4,360 have been returned for an 82 percent return rate.

¯ Hancock County had 2,653 requests, with 2,084 having been returned for a 78.5 percent return rate.There are 23,998 registered voters in Hancock County.

¯ In Marshall County, 2,257 absentee ballots were requested and 1,902 — or 84 percent — have been returned. Marshall County has 21,417 registered voters.

¯ Brooke County saw 1,823 requests, with 1,544 absentee ballots returned. That is a return rate of 85 percent. The county has 19,164 registered voters.

¯ There were 1,031 absentee ballots requested in Wetzel County, and 845 of them have been returned resulting in a return rate of 82 percent. There are 10,221 registered voters in Wetzel County.

¯ Tyler County had 555 absentee voter requests, and 468 were returned for a return rate of 84 percent. Tyler County has 6,643 registered voters.

Across West Virginia, 152,789 absentee ballots were requested, with 124,494 returned so far. This results in a return rate of 81 percent.

(King can be contacted at jking@theintelligencer.net)

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