First Day Of Early Voting For Special Primary Tops May Primary
Charleston, W.Va. – More than 5,000 people cast a ballot Friday on the first day of early voting in the special US Senate election – almost three times the number that voted on the first day of early voting in the May primary, Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant announced.
1,977 people voted early on April 21, 2010.
In West Virginia, 38 counties instantly report back to the Secretary of State’s Office how many people have voted early using the Statewide Voter Registration System. While no results are reported at that time, it is a useful tool to use to gauge voter turnout before Election Day or canvass.
The 38 counties that instantly report include some of the large population counties such as Cabell, Kanawha, Marion, Monongalia, Ohio, and Wood. But other counties with a large number of registered voters, like Berkeley and Putnam, report their early voting totals either at the end of every day or after canvassing is completed.
As of 4:00 PM Friday, the 38 counties that report instantly had 3,796 people vote early. The Secretary of State’s Office believes the first day early voters in the other 17 counties will push the number well past 5,000.
“These numbers are great to see,” Secretary Tennant said. “The people wanted this election. And there was a lot of work that went in to making it happen. This office, the county clerks, the county commissioners, and state lawmakers worked together to give the people what they wanted. And I’m glad to see so many people taking advantage of early voting. I hope the intense interest in this election continues all the way to August 28.”
There was also increased interest in new voters. About 6,400 people registered to vote from June 28 to the August 9 deadline. By comparison, only about 5,800 registered to vote during the same time period in 2008 – a presidential election year.
Early voting continues Saturday, August 21. While there will be no early voting on Sunday, August 22, people will be able to vote early from Monday, August 23 to Wednesday, August 25.
Saturday, August 28 is the day of the special primary. Polls will be open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM.
The special election is being held to fill the unexpired United States Senate term left vacant following the death of Senator Robert Byrd. Byrd died on June 28 after more than 50 years of service in Congress.