Ballots cast as early voting begins

ELKINS – Early voting for the May 13 primary began Wednesday morning, and officials reported a steady stream of voters casting their ballots.

Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman said she was pleased with the turnout for the first day of early voting Wednesday. Approximately 20 voters came to the Randolph County Courthouse Annex – the designated early voting polling place in Randolph County – to cast their ballots Wednesday morning.

“We are going to be set up here Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until May 10,” Wiseman said. “Early voting is open to anyone registered to vote in their respective county.”

Wiseman explained the benefits of early voting.

“It’s very convenient,” she said. “It’s designed for those who may not be able to reach the polling location on Election Day. This gives voters an option to come and vote on their lunch break or on the weekend at their convenience.”

Wiseman said she and her staff are also working to prepare all of the voting machines for the primary election, as well.

In Tucker County, County Clerk Sherry Simmons said early voters kept her office busy Wednesday morning.

“We have been very steady for the first day of early voting,” Simmons said. “We have had about 20 early voters who stopped by before lunch.”

Simmons said Tucker County normally has good voter turnout.

“We begin planning for the next election as soon as the canvas of the current election is completed,” Simmons said. “We make signs and help educate folks about voting. We also travel to the local high school to get registered voters.”

Simmons said early voting in Tucker County can be done on the Courthouse Annex’s second floor in Room 204. Hours for early voting are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 10.

Upshur County Clerk Debbie Wilfong reported perhaps the best turnout in the area on the first day of early voting.

“We’ve been here since 8 a.m. and we’ve had 115 voters so far today,” she told The Inter-Mountain Wednesday afternoon. “It’s a great turnout so far. We’ve been busy.”

Upshur County’s early voting polling place is the County Courthouse. Wilfong said this year she is short on alternate poll workers and is asking anyone interested in being trained as a poll worker to contact her office at 304-472-1063.

Barbour County Clerk Macel Auvil reported a turnout of approximately 15 voters as of Wednesday afternoon.

“Off-year elections have less of a turnout in general in Barbour County,” she explained. “We tend to get between 20 to 25 percent of our overall voter turnout from early voting.”

Early voting can be done at the Barbour County Courthouse.

“Saturday is the most popular day for us,” Auvil said. “We get the majority of voters then because they can come in when it is best for them.”