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Primary Election voting underway: New record for early voting in a primary election set

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CHARLESTON, WV - The 2014 West Virginia Primary election is open in the Mountain State.

The polls will remain open from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 13.

To find a local polling place to visit Tuesday, visit the Secretary of State’s website HERE

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office said 44,547 people cast their ballots during the early voting period, a record for a midterm primary election.

“These numbers prove that even with a shortened early voting period, this option continues to be very convenient for West Virginians,” Tennant said. “We have seen the number of people taking advantage of early voting increase from just 14,000 in 2002 to more than 44,000 this year.
"Hopefully we see this trend continue into Election Day with a high voter turnout.”

Tennant added that 2,286 absentee ballots have been returned voted to county clerks, for a total of 46,833.

Kanawha County had the highest number of early voter turnout, with over 4,300 ballots cast total. Wood County was a close second with 2,745 early ballots.

Most of the other counties included in the count were similar, but Tennant said Marion County had an unusually high number of Democratic ballots cast with close to 1,050 while there were only 241 Republican ballots cast. Marion County has about one-fourth of the population of Kanawha.

In the 2010 primary there were 40,557 early votes and absentee ballots cast during the early voting period; in 2006 that number was 25,851; and in 2002 that number was 14,522.

Tennant said her office is sending out dozens of liaisons across the state on Election Day. These liaisons will be able to assist local election workers and will improve communication between state and local officials on Election Day. They also will be able to respond quickly to reports of election law violations to be able to quickly evaluate any issues.

This is the same comprehensive statewide plan used by the Secretary of State’s Office in the last seven statewide elections dating back to the 2010 Primary.

“The right to vote is the foundation of our democracy, and I urge all citizens to make their voice heard on Election Day by casting their ballot,” Tennant said

Tennant also is running for U.S. Senate against Democrats Dennis Melton and David Wamsley. U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito is leaving the U.S House to try her hand at the Senate and faces Republican contenders Larry Eugene Butcher and Matthew Dodrill.

For the U.S. House, some state representatives are trying their hand at a national seat. Delegate Meshea Poore, D-Kanawha, and Sen. Evan Jenkins, R-Cabell, are running for the District 2 and District 3 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, respectively. 

Those on the ticket for the U.S. House District 1 seat, are unopposed. West Virginia Auditor Glen Gainer III is running on the Democrat ticket and incumbent David McKinley is the Republican candidate.

Jenkins is running as the lone Republican in District 3 while incumbent Rahall is being challenged by Richard Ojeda II, of Logan County.

Poore and Nick Casey, of Kanawha County, are the Democrats running for the District 2 seat while there are seven Republicans running.

To check a complete list of candidates before voting, click HERE

Tennant also reminds West Virginians if they feel their voting rights have been violated or if they believe they have witnessed an election law violation to contact the Secretary of State’s Office immediately at (304) 558-6000 or 1-866-SOS-VOTE.