Local county clerks explain election date change

SOUTHERN WEST VIRGINIA (WOAY) – After yesterday’s decision to change the primary election date to June 9, local officials weigh in on what that means.

“[The virus] is going to peak right at election time,” says Raleigh County clerk D.W. Danny Moore. “That’s why they moved it at a latter date.”

Local officials say they had a feeling the postponement was coming, but they didn’t hear official word until yesterday.

“It’s mostly for everybody’s safety,” said Fayette County clerk Alicia Treadway. “We don’t want the in-person voting to result in people getting sick.”

Now, officials scramble to keep up with the new plan, putting together absentee ballot applications for every West Virginia voter. Voters won’t get those ballots until later this month, but besides that, not much has changed.

‘It’s going to be handled like every election except you have to be 6 feet apart at the polling place,” said Moore. “We’re going to have to clean every machine every time someone votes…so the next voter hopefully will not catch anything.”

Candidates will be able to use the extra time to campaign– but Beckley mayoral candidate Jim Wills says it’s unlikely voters will change their minds this late in the game. Even so, he says it’s a good time for voters to pay attention.

“It allows people to see how current or some of the experienced individuals would react in a situation like we’re under,” Wills said.

Kassie Simmons
Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at ksimmons@woay.com.