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WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — The canvass of the Nov. 3 general election has yet to be conducted in Mingo County after a COVID-19 outbreak closed the Mingo County Clerk’s Office and sent its employees into quarantine.

The canvass was originally scheduled for Monday, Nov. 9, but the Mingo County Commission had to enter into a recess because required clerk’s office employees could not be present.

According to Deputy Clerk Angie Browning, the clerk’s office will reopen Wednesday, Nov. 18, after being closed on Nov. 5. Browning said the canvass is tentatively scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. Thursday.

The results of the Nov. 3 election are unofficial until the canvass, in which the materials, equipment and results of an election are reviewed, corrected and officially recorded prior to the certification of that election, according to the West Virginia secretary of state’s office.

Any absentee or mail-in ballots that were postmarked by midnight Nov. 3 and received at the clerk’s office by Friday, Nov. 6, would also be added to the official totals released following the canvass.

The race for the Mingo County prosecutor’s office was decided by a slim margin of 12 votes, as Democrat incumbent Duke Jewell finished with 4,753 votes while Republican challenger Brock Mounts had 4,741 votes, according to unofficial totals following the Nov. 3 election.

After the results are certified and the election is approved by the Mingo County Commission, either candidate could request a recount if they think the race is close enough to call for one. The candidate would be required to pay for the recount.

According to the unofficial totals, just over 50% of registered voters in Mingo County cast a vote in the 2020 election, with 6,951 of those votes coming on Election Day.

There were 2,493 early votes cast, and 650 absentee ballots have currently been counted.

Jarrid McCormick is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. He can be reached by email at jmccormick@HDMediaLLC.com.