Early Voter Turnout Mixed

WHEELING – Early voting for the 2011 special primary election for governor in West Virginia concluded Wednesday, with turnout numbers in the six Northern Panhandle counties light but comparable to those for last year’s special primary election for U.S. Senate.

Three of the counties actually exceed the early turnout numbers posted for the U.S. Senate primary on Aug. 27. The two special primary elections can be compared, as both fell during non-presidential election years and had just one race on the ballot.

Overall turnout for the U.S. Senate primary across West Virginia last year was 12 percent.

Early voting for the 2011 special primary election for governor began April 29.

Poll workers in Ohio County reported a very busy day for early voting Wednesday, as 246 people cast ballots. That brought the total of early voters in Ohio County to 1,157 – surpassing last year’s total of 992.

Marshall County – home county of acting state Senate President Jeff Kessler, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate – reported 1,005 early ballots cast in this year’s gubernatorial primary. This compares to 757 in the county last year for U.S. Senate.

In Wetzel County, 574 early votes were cast – slightly more than the 529 received there last year.

Other local counties, though, reported early turnouts below last year’s figures.

Hancock County’s early vote total was 392, while 467 voted early in the 2010 U.S. Senate special primary.

A total of 310 early voted in Brooke County, where 320 cast early ballots last year.

Tyler County, meanwhile, reported 200 early voters in the 2011 special gubernatorial primary – down from 221 in the 2010 special primary for U.S. Senate.

Election Day in the special primary election for governor is Saturday, with polls opening at 6:30 a.m. and closing at 7:30 p.m.