CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A Spencer company that programs and prints the state's ballot stock is awaiting the outcome of a dispute over the ballot for the Nov. 2 general and special U.S. Senate elections.
Casto & Harris faces an Oct. 5 deadline to deliver ballots to county clerks. President John Denbigh told the Charleston Daily Mail that there's no time for a protracted legal battle.
"We're rather stressed," Denbigh said.
On Friday, a circuit judge rejected a petition by the West Virginia Republican Party that sought separate ballots for the regular and special elections. The GOP is expected to appeal the ruling.
That would pose a logistical problem for Casto & Harris. Reprinting the ballot would take 21 consecutive 16-hour days, Denbigh said.
"Even if it were decided tomorrow, we feel it would be very difficult to reproduce the election in time, depending on what they decide," he said. "It would be a big financial windfall for this company to do it, but we don't want to. We want to get it done right the first time and accurately."
Paper and absentee ballots were sent Sept. 21. Other ballots are due to county clerks Oct. 5. Clerks need time to conduct testing to make sure ballots are accurate on Election Day.
"There's just an awful lot involved that people don't realize that goes in prior to an election," Denbigh said.
Casto & Harris already has worked against tight deadlines because of the August special Senate election primary, which pared two weeks of production time for the general election. The work, however, is now done - depending on the outcome of the court case.
"For all intents and purposes, as far as ballots go, we're finished," Denbigh said.
Information from: Charleston Daily Mail, http://www.dailymail.com