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Early voting underway in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — All 55 county courthouses opened their doors Wednesday to early voters ahead of the May 10 Primary Election.

Mac Warner

Going to the courthouse is just one out of a number of sites that are available to cast your ballot during the early voting period, which runs through May 7.

Secretary of State Mac Warner said most COVID-19 restrictions put in place in 2020 have been lifted.

“There’s no mask requirements for early in-person voting or on Election Day, but you’re certainly welcome to wear a mask if you want,” Warner said on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

Early voting sites are open to all county voters regardless of the town they live in.

Jackson County Clerk Cheryl Bright told MetroNews affiliate WMOV Radio in Ravenswood voters can make their voices heard at the Ravenswood Library and the Jackson County Courthouse from Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“You don’t have to live in the Ravenswood area and you don’t have to live in the Ripley area because every precinct is going to be on those voting machines during early voting,” Bright explained.

It’s not a presidential election year, so Bright is predicting a much lower turn out than in 2020.

“I don’t know what the turn out will be, but I know it’s probably not going to be anything near what we had in the last election,” she said.

Redistricting has changed where many voters cast their ballots. Warner said voters can find where to vote by visiting their website GoVoteWV.com.

“That website is an interactive program maybe the first in the nation that’s using this GIS technology, that enables you to type your address in and it’ll pop up and show you the different districts,” Warner said.

Warner said about 25 percent of West Virginia voters do not affiliate with a major political party. Unaffiliated voters will be giving the choice during this primary whether they want a Republican of Democratic ballot.

“The voter needs to ask,” Warmer said, “We train the poll workers not to try to hint if they want a Republican or Democratic ballot. We just don’t want that sort of influence.”

The deadline to register to vote or make changes to current registrations has passed, but Warner said people can make adjustments ahead of the November General Election.

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