West Virginia votes yes to road bond

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UPSHUR COUNTY, W.Va. (WDTV) - The votes are in from Saturday's special election, the road bond referendum has passed.

Voting lasted all day at precincts across the state. Secretary of State Mac Warner and his staff visited select voting areas in every county, ending at the courthouse in Buckhannon.

With over 1800 precincts in 55 counties, over close to 75% of voters were in favor of the referendum

"I think it's very important to the governor and the legislature, they wanted to see this bond pass," Warner said. "The sooner it can get passes, the sooner we can start the construction projects and so on."

For Upshur County Clerk Carol Smith, this was her first time being in charge on election day since taking her position. She thinks that voting went smoothly, despite the low turnout.

"We had 948 early voters, which was nice" Smith said. "The precincts I visited, at different times of the day, 50 was a high number."

Officials across the state are voicing their support for the passing of the referendum.

Senate President Mitch Carmichael said, "“I am thrilled that the West Virginians who chose to vote on this critical issue put the greater good of this state first and said yes. With the passage of this amendment, we have taken a tremendous step in moving West Virginia forward. Soon, our state will see more jobs and better roads, and most importantly, we will see these benefits without any additional taxation of our citizens. I am excited about what the future holds as we develop a strong, safe, and reliable transportation infrastructure. We have worked for three years in the Senate to promote economic development and job creation in our great state. I am proud of the voters who have recognized those efforts and have given this state the chance to truly thrive.”

Transportation Secretary, Tom Smith, also released the following statement:

"We appreciate the confidence the citizens of West Virginia have shown in us by passing Governor Justice's Roads to Prosperity Bond Amendment. By doing so, it allows the West Virginia Department of Transportation to move forward in playing a major role in West Virginia’s economic recovery. With the new revenues passed by the legislature this most recent session, we can make meaningful improvements to the state’s transportation infrastructure. We recognize our responsibility and are committed to putting out this momentous program in an open, honest and transparent manner."