WHEELING - Early voting for the May 8 primary election starts Wednesday at courthouses across West Virginia, and continues through Saturday, May 5.
"There are a lot of local races, and a lot of candidates running - we can tell that by the number of signs we see," said Brooke County Clerk Sylvia Benzo. "Come out and vote. Keep us busy."
In addition to races for U.S. president, Congress and statewide offices, West Virginia voters will elect party nominees for county offices.
Photo by Joselyn King
Ohio County elections employee Sheila Swiger of Wheeling prepares more than 5,000 new voter registration cards to be mailed to Ohio County voters. These cards reflect changes in Wheeling City Council ward boundaries, as well as voting precincts changed as a result of last year’s redistricting in West Virginia.
Also, county board of education members will be elected on May 8, and there are contested city elections in Wheeling and New Martinsville.
On weekdays, voters may cast ballots during the following times at their county courthouse:
- Brooke County at Wellsburg - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Hancock County at New Cumberland - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Marshall County at Moundsville - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The office is open until 5:30 p.m. Friday.
- Ohio County at Wheeling - 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Tyler County at Middlebourne - 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Wetzel County at New Martinsville - 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. The office is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All counties also will be open for voting from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 28, and the last day of early voting on Saturday, May 5.
Early voting continues to be a very convenient option for people in West Virginia," said Jake Glance, spokesman for Secretary of State Natalie Tennant. He said during the 2008 presidential election, 70,815 people voted early in the primary, and 153,096 people voted early in the general election.
"I don't know if anyone can say one way (of voting) is 'best,'" Glance said. "There are people who like going to their polling place on Election Day and casting their ballot. There are others who like going on their lunch break during the early voting period and casting their ballot. So I think every voter has a unique situation, and it's very important that they be able to cast their ballot when it is most convenient for them.
"It's hard to compare total early voting numbers across different elections. But what we can say is that if you take the total turnout for an election and see what percentage of that was cast during the early voting period, it's growing. When early voting started in 2002, about 5 percent of the total ballots cast were cast during the early voting period. Compare that to the 2010 general election, when about 21 percent of the total votes cast were cast during early voting."