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494 cast early ballots in Randolph

The Inter-Mountain photo by Edgar Kelley Voters lined up outside the Weese Annex of the Randolph County Courthouse for the start of early voting on Wednesday in Elkins. A total of 388 ballots were cast at the location Wednesday, along with 106 at the Mill Creek Public Library.

ELKINS — Early voting got underway across West Virginia on Wednesday and there was a strong turnout at the polls locally.

A line of citizens was stretched down the sidewalk at the Weese Annex of the Randolph County Courthouse the entire day as voters lined up to cast their ballots early for the Nov. 3 general election.

“We had them lined up all day and people actually had to wait about a half hour to get in and vote,” Randolph County Clerk Brenda Wiseman said Wednesday afternoon. “We still had people waiting when the polls closed at 4:30, so we gave them waiting voter permits so they could still get in and vote. We don’t turn anyone away if they’re in line and the polls close.”

The Elkins location had a total of 388 ballots turned in on the first day, while 106 votes were cast at the Mill Creek Public Library.

“We had a very busy day,” said Wiseman. “Any time it’s a presidential election you have higher numbers come out to vote.”

The fear of COVID-19 didn’t seem to keep voters away, but extra steps were put in place to ensure the safety for anyone wanting to vote. Citizens were asked to wear a mask before entering the building and hand sanatizer and gloves were made available to those coming in.

“I just wanted to get it out of the way,” Elkins resident Howard Biller said of casting his vote on Wednesday. “Voting early is always more convenient and I try to do it every election.”

When asked if he had any concerns about COVID-19 when heading out to the polls, he said he had none at all.

Another early voter, Rickie White, said it was just more convenient for her to vote early this year.

“I’m doing it because I’m going to be out of town on Election Day,” she said. “So I thought better get out and take care of it now.”

White said she usually waits until election day to vote.

Early voting will continue until the end of the month. The hours to vote are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. this Saturday and on Saturday, Oct. 31.

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