BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The Raleigh County Voter Registration Office had to dig for answers after the Division 2 Magistrate election ended in confusion.
On Tuesday’s ballot, Stephanie French took on incumbent Stephen Massie for the magistrate’s seat in division two. The only problem was that Massie isn’t seeking re-election and said he would resign if he were elected.
“Mr. Massie is the one who said that he would resign from the position if he’d were elected,” said Cecilia Chapman, chief deputy clerk. “That is not anything official. Those were his words.”
This comes just months after Massie was suspended without pay and eventually resigned amid allegations that he violated the Judicial Code of Conduct. Even so, he won the election with about 450 more votes than French.
“I was in the lead for most of the race and then at the end it was quite a shocker,” said French. “I have a strong chin and the voters spoke. I guess we’ll see what happens.”
The election is not set in stone, however, meaning Massie hasn’t officially won.
“It has not been made official,” said Chapman. “That won’t happen until we go through canvas of the election which won’t happen until the 15th. Then, there’s the step of declaring the election and there’s a 48-hour waiting period before it becomes official.”
Once it’s official and Massie formally resigns, it’s up to a judge to appoint someone to the position.
“I did have a lot of votes and a lot of support and that being said, I think that every vote should be considered and I hope that whomever makes the decision will take that into consideration and make a fair decision,” said French.
The appointed magistrate does not have to be someone on the ballot.