Showing how to handle elections

After a canvass of votes in the Nov. 6 election, incumbent Hancock County Commissioner Jeff Davis was named the winner over challenger Tommy Ogden, by a count of 5,064 votes to 5,054.

But the 10-vote margin was close enough that Ogden thought it was worth a try to request a recount. Most candidates probably would do the same.

Results of the recount were revealed a few days ago. The totals: Davis, 5,064; Ogden, 5,054.

In other words, Hancock County isn’t Florida, where votes by the thousands can be lost, miscounted, declared invalid, etc. Here in West Virginia, we don’t put up with that sort of incompetence — or, if you are a skeptic, partisan tinkering with election returns.

Human error can result in changes between election night and a recount, of course. But processes used in our state — along with clear, fair rules for voters — mean West Virginians have few reasons to suspect shenanigans of the type reported in some other areas.

Congratulations, then, to Davis — and to all involved in handling the Hancock County election. That is how balloting ought to be managed everywhere in the United States.

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