Pocahontas Voting Machine Font Could Cause Confusion

Marlinton, WV – The electronic voting machines in use in Pocahontas County use a very large print font. Some early voters have complained that when verifying that their vote before making it final, only the first four letters of the chosen candidate are shown on the screen. This is a concern in one of the races as the letters could be construed to represent a different candidate.

The font was changed in 2006 due to a problem with the 2004 Presidential election. Some voters claimed when they voted for one candidate, their vote actually went to the other candidate. The West Virginia Secretary of States’ office determined that the problem was with the boxes on the voting form were too small. Their solution was to make the boxes bigger, including the boxes for write-in candidates. This programming change was approved by the Federal Election Commission and can’t be changed without their approval.

There is one write-in candidate in this year’s general election. According to Pocahontas County Clerk Sandra Friel, you don’t have to write in the entire name of the candidate, as long as election officials have enough information to determine voter intent. Even though voters will see only the first four letters of their chosen candidate before casting the final vote, the paper trail in the voting machine will show the full name of the candidate chosen. Early voting will continue in Pocahontas County until October 30th. Election day is November 2nd.

Story By

Heather Niday

Heather is our Program Director and Traffic Manager. She started with Allegheny Mountain Radio as a volunteer deejay. She then joined the AMR staff in February of 2007. Heather grew up in the Richmond, Virginia, area and now lives in Arbovale, West Virginia with her husband Chuck. Heather is a wonderful flute player, and choir director for Arbovale UMC. You can hear Heather along with Chuck on Tuesday nights from 6 to 8pm as they host two hours of jazz on Something Different.

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