PARKERSBURG — From Wednesday until May 10, Wood County voters will have the opportunity to cast their ballots early for the May 13 primary election in West Virginia.
Election laws pertaining to absentee voting were changed several years ago to allow “no excuse” early voting for a period of 20 days up to three days prior to an election.
A change in the West Virginia primary voting procedure this year permits those not registered with either of the two major political parties to ask for a ballot from either the Democrat or Republican parties.
Wood County Clerk Jamie Six said the county has been running about 20 percent of the voters using the early vote option, so he is predicting between 5,000 and 6,000 voters will take advantage of the early vote opportunity. Six said he has doubled the number of iVotronic touchscreen voting machines that will be available for early voting this year in hopes of meeting the increased demand.
Early voting will also be made available two Saturdays, May 3 and May 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All early voting will be conducted at the Judge Donald F. Black Courthouse Annex in the public meeting rooms. The rooms are accessible through the double doors in the annex on the Market Street side of the building.
Voters are also reminded the deadline to register for the primary is Tuesday. The voter registration office at the courthouse is on the fourth floor and office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Residents should bring a driver’s license with their current Wood County address. A current utility bill, bank statement, government documents or pay stub are also acceptable as long as they have the current address. Post office boxes and rural routes will not be accepted, the new 911 address must be used.
Anyone who will be 18 years old by the Nov. 4 general election can register and vote in the primary. Anyone who has not voted in an election in seven years may have had their registration purged.