PARKERSBURG - Turnout was steady for the first day of early voting on Wednesday.
"It's probably comparable to similar first day early voting in other presidential primaries. There is usually a lull on the second day then we get busier as we go along, that's typical," said Wood County Clerk Jamie Six.
Six said there were no major problems at the only early vote site open at this time, the Fort Boreman public meeting room of the Judge Black Courthouse Annex.
"We do want to remind voters that anyone registered as no party, can request either a Republican or Democrat ballot, but the voter has to initiate the request, the pollworkers cannot. The voter has to make the request," Six said.
The early vote annex site will be open until May 5 with hours from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and Saturday, April 28 and May 5, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The four new community voting sites will be open May1-4 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, May 5. The new community voting sites will be located in the city buildings of Williamstown and Vienna and volunteer fire departments in Lubeck and Mineral Wells.
There will be signs up on the main roads and at the sites directing voters to the Vienna and Williamstown voting sites, and up at the polling place at the Lubeck and Mineral Wells volunteer fire departments.
"We also want to remind everyone that any voter in Wood County can go to any early vote site to cast their ballot," Six said. All the early vote precincts will have all ballot styles.
A total of 54,157 Wood County voters are registered for the May 8 primary; 20,872 Democrats; 21,521 Republicans; 38 Mountain Party; 11,299 no party affiliation; 427 other.
According to the secretary of state's office early voting continues to be a popular option for West Virginians. In the 2008 primary 70,815 people cast their ballot during the early voting period. In the 2008 general election 153,096 people early voted.
"I encourage every eligible voter in West Virginia to go to the polls and vote, whether it is during the early voting period or on election day," said Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant. "Your vote is your voice, and I hope everyone makes their voice heard during this election."
According to numbers from the secretary of state's office there are 1,226,545 eligible voters in West Virginia. 640,888 (52.25 percent) registered Democrat; 352,304 (28.72 percent) Republicans; 1,286 (.10 percent) Mountain Party, and 210,562 (17.17 percent) no party affiliation. There are 21,505 (1.75 percent) registered with another political party.
The Secretary of State's Office will release daily updates on the number of early votes cast and how many absentee ballots have been received by county clerks. Those daily updated numbers will be available on the Secretary of State's website at www.wvsos.com.
Early voting usually accounts for about 20 percent of the total vote.
Questions about early voting can be directed to the voter's registration division of the clerk's office by calling 304-424-1860.