CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the polls closed on West Virginia’s primary day at 7:30 p.m., unofficial numbers showed a massive turnout that carried over from high early voting numbers.
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant thought a few factors contributed to large number of voters.
“I think it’s a combination of the enthusiasm that we’re seeing. People are excited about this,” she said. “They see that elections have ramifications. They have consequences. And I think they’re learning that from 2014 with a 37 percent voter turnout, and then what took place the past two years in the legislative session.”
Tennant said that polls would stay open as long as necessary to accommodate voters that had gotten on line by the 7:30 close time.
“(Poll workers) are going to have to stay in some cases even an hour longer to get those folks voted,” said Tennant. “I’m hearing reports that there’s about 40 people in line for machines at specific precincts around the state.”
There were a few issues, Tennant said, including some of the Donald Trump campaign volunteers at various polling places handing out a slate of recommended Trump RNC delegates too close to the polling location.”
“That’s been a common refrain, that some folks may be hugging the 300 foot mark, which worried some poll workers,” Tennant said. “So there have been some folks inside that 300 foot mark, and some outside where they should be. That’s been a concern.”
Tennant also said there was some confusion among voters on whether to ask for a GOP, Democratic or non-partisan ballot.
Official numbers on voter turnout from Tuesday’s primary election will be available as results come in.