EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSLINCOLN VOTING
from Eyewitness News Online
County Overcoming Corruption But Election Challenges Ahead
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Reported: May. 2, 2012 6:57 PM EDT
Hamlin , Lincoln County , West Virginia
Corruption dominated the last election in Lincoln County but now, with two officials kicked out of office, the county is hoping this time around the races will be clean. But the troubles are still far from over.
The new Lincoln County Clerk Myrl Gue says this election year, Lincoln County is working to overcome the corruption of the last election, where the former Clerk, Donald Whitten, and former Sheriff, Jerry Bowman, admitted to conspiring to stuff the ballot box with absentee ballots, that resulted in federal charges.
Back in 2010 the county had 857 absentee ballots, this year, only 29 so far.
The Secretary of State's office has been in Lincoln County to try and help with the transition. Someone from the office has been on-site during early voting to answer questions and provide additional resources.
But Gue says the office still has challenges. Aside from the election, they are also working to shape up the voter's registration. In Lincoln county Gue says 114% of the people are registered to vote. That is impossible and now it's a matter of figuring out who doesn't belong.
"The books were not kept up properly, if you will. And it takes 'x' amount of years to get someone off the voter's registration," Gue says.
Gue says despite the challenges, the office is moving in the right direction and he's hopeful voters won't be discouraged.
"I believe that we will have a clean and a fair election this time," Gue says.
The county clerk's office has until August to shape up. Whitten and Bowman will be sentenced in June.
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