WINFIELD, W.Va. — Some high school students in Putnam County got their first chance to cast a ballot. Thirty-one seniors from Poca, Buffalo, Hurricane and Winfield high schools arrived at the Putnam County Courthouse Thursday morning to cast their early vote.

Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood is behind the program aimed at getting eligible students to the polls to expose them to the voting process.

Desiree Harmon from Buffalo High School said she couldn’t wait to vote.

“It was exciting! It felt grown up,” said the 18-year-old.

Harmon stressed she didn’t go to the polls uninformed. She did her homework.

“I printed the ballot off and I looked up every name,” she explained.

Her classmate, Tyler Sowards, agreed.

“You had to do some research for sure. You couldn’t just vote,” said the senior. “We are the future and we need to make good decisions now and it starts when you’re young.”

Jessica Burdette said there was no question whether she would exercise her right to vote as soon as she was old enough. It was engrained in her by her family.

“They put into me how important it is to get your voice out there,” said the Buffalo High School senior.

Jon Governale was excited to cast his vote for a very personal reason.

“My cousin is running (for office) so I got to vote for him!”

Wood is hoping to expand his young voter program for the next election in 2016.