Charleston, W.Va. – Almost 15,000 new voters have registered so far in 2011 and will be eligible to vote in the special gubernatorial election, according to the Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS) maintained by Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant’s Office.
According to the SVRS, 3,537 new voters registered in January; 3,159 new voters registered in February; 4,700 new voters registered in March; and 3,354 new voters have registered so far in April.
The number of voters who registered before the April 25 deadline could increase slightly, as registrations from the several registering locations continue to come in to county clerks offices.
Also according to SVRS, for the May 14 special primary there will be about 650,159 eligible Democrat voters; about 350,171 eligible Republican voters; and about 215,000 eligible voters registered with no party affiliation or as a member of another political party.
There are about 1,170 people registered to vote with the Mountain Party, but that political party will hold a nominating convention to name their candidate for Governor in the special election.
Early voting begins at county courthouses or courthouse annexes on Friday, April 29. The early voting period will continue every weekday until May 11, with early voting also being offered from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, April 30 and Saturday, May 7.
Polling places will be open statewide from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM on Saturday, May 14.
“The last statewide election we had in West Virginia was in November of 2010, and we saw statewide voter turnout of about 44 percent,” Secretary Tennant said. “Two counties, Lewis and Pocahontas, had turnout around the 60 percent mark. The people of West Virginia have the opportunity to make their voice heard on a very important issue – and I hope everyone sees this as an historic opportunity to vote in yet another special statewide election.”
During the midterm November general election in 2010 about 535,000 voters cast a ballot. That put voter turnout at about 44 percent, the highest turnout for a midterm election since 1994.
Voters who have questions about their registration can contact their county clerk’s office. A complete list of county clerk’s phone numbers and addresses can be found on the Secretary of State’s website at www.wvsos.com. Voters can also find more information by visiting the Secretary of State’s website and clicking the banner at the top of the page that reads, “For more information on the 2011 Special Gubernatorial Election, Click here.”