Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

KANAWHA COUNTY ; Ex-Senator Running for Clerk

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

KANAWHA COUNTY ; Ex-Senator Running for Clerk

Article excerpt

Erik Wells, the husband of Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, has decided to challenge Vera McCormick for Kanawha county clerk. Wells, a former Democratic state senator, missed the Jan. 30 filing deadline to run as a member of his party and is collecting signatures to run as an unaffiliated candidate.

"At the end of the day, this is really about giving the voters of Kanawha County an option in the clerk's race, Wells said.

Wells said he plans to get the paperwork to collect signatures today. There is no Democrat currently running for county clerk.

The deadline to submit completed paperwork as an unaffiliated candidate is Aug. 1. Wells would need to get about 600 signatures from registered voters in Kanawha County to appear on the ballot.

Wells' decision to run comes amid controversy over how McCormick handled May's primary election, including reports of people voting in the wrong delegate district and complaints in April over online voter registration.

Wells said it was the delegate district issue that was the largest factor in his deciding to run.

"When you go to vote, Wells said, "your vote should matter in the district where you live.

McCormick, who took office in 2005, has come under fire since it was discovered that about 500 people voted in the wrong delegate district in Kanawha County in the 2016 primary.

Four precincts contained people who voted in the wrong delegate district and three of those precincts were caught and corrected during the early voting period, resulting in only 10 people voting in the wrong district.

After election day, it was revealed that 477 people had voted in the wrong delegate district in Precinct 277.

McCormick had been told there was an issue in the neighborhood that voted in the wrong district before the primary election, but said she did not have the time to correct the issue.

When McCormick presented a plan to correct the problem, it was discovered that there also is an issue in Precinct 240, where people have potentially been voting in the wrong district since 2012, because of an issue in state code. …

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