PARKERSBURG Early voting begins today at the Judge Black Courthouse Annex and on Oct. 30 at four community voting sites.
"We are ready to go," Wood County Clerk Jamie Six said. "We usually have about 20 percent of the registered voters take advantage of early voting, based on previous elections."
The deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 6 general election was Oct. 16. The final voter registration totals show 55,343 Wood Countians registered. Of that total, there are 21,005 Democrats; 21,929 Republicans; 11,898 registered as no party, and others 511.
Photo by Pamela Brust
Elizabeth Beary, deputy clerk, goes over voter registration records in the Wood County clerk’s office on Tuesday in preparation for early voting. The early voting site at the Judge Black Courthouse Annex opened today. Four community early vote sites will open Oct. 30.
Six said presidential year elections are traditionally years of larger overall turnout, and absentee ballot returns so far may be an indicator this could be a big one.
Elizabeth Beary, deputy clerk, reported as of Tuesday, the office has received 648 absentee ballots, plus another estimated 80 that were emailed overseas to military personnel. The most recent primary saw about 275 absentees.
Six reminded voters all ballot styles are available at all early vote sites, so registered voters can vote at any of those sites. "If you have registered to vote by mail, the first time you go to vote you must show identification, after that we just verify by signature," Six said. If there is some question about the signature, the pollworker may ask for other identification, which can be a driver's license, utility bill with a current address and other methods of proof. For information on what can be accepted as proper identification, check the secretary of state's website at www.sos.wv.gov. Six noted the voter registration card itself does not constitute identification.
If You Go
- Early voting at the Judge Black Courthouse Annex opens today and ends Nov. 3. Hours for the Judge Black Annex voting site will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
- Early voting hours for Saturday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Judge Black site will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
- Four community early vote sites will open Oct. 30
- For more information go to the secretary of state's website at www.sos.wv.gov or the county website: www.woodcountywv.com
"There is not an instance when someone should need to bring their birth certificate with them to the polling place, as some voters may have received calls," Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant said. "For example, if you have voted at the same place for decades and you haven't changed your voter registration in any way, all you have to do in order to vote is state your name and address and sign the poll book. I want the voters of West Virginia and the pollworkers who are on the front lines of this election to know the rules. I want everyone who is legally entitled to cast a vote and who wants to vote to have that opportunity."
Tennant said recent news coverage of voter identification laws may have generated confusion about what documentation West Virginia citizens need to bring to the polling place.
Tennant said if voters receive phone calls or other information that tells them they are required to bring additional documentation to the polling place they should contact the Secretary of State's Office at 304-558-6000 or 1-866-767-8683.
The four Wood County community voting sites will be open Oct. 30 through Nov. 3. Hours at those sites, Monday through Friday, will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., and on Saturday, Nov. 3, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The sites will be located at: Williamstown City Building, 100 West Fifth St.; Vienna City Building, 609 29th St.; Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department, 1695 Elizabeth Pike; and Lubeck Volunteer Fire Department, 1340 Harris Highway.
Early voting at the Judge Black Courthouse Annex, accessible through the double doors across Market Street from the Blennerhassett Hotel, runs through Nov. 3. Hours for the Judge Black Annex voting site will be 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday from Oct. 24-Nov. 3. Hours for Saturday, Oct. 27, and Saturday, Nov. 3, at the Judge Black site will be 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
If you need to check the status of your registration, or have other election questions, contact the voter registration office on the fourth floor of the courthouse, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or call 304-424-1860.