The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

November 8, 2012

Higher voter turnout seen across region

Despite some early polling locations losing as many as three days due to Superstorm Sandy, county clerks across the region reported a higher than average early voter turnout, which in turn echoed a generally high voter turnout overall.

In Raleigh County, 4,902 voters cast their ballot early leading to an overall voter turnout of 52.19 percent, larger than the 2008 presidential election, but not the 60 percent the county saw in 2004, said county clerk Betty Riffe.

Fayette County clerk Kelvin Holliday put overall voter turnout numbers in perspective, explaining that as the DMV pulls in large numbers of individuals who register as they get a photo ID, few people are registering purposely to vote.

“I don’t think we will ever see a two-thirds vote county-wide again with the emphasis on registering to vote at the DMV,” he said.

Fayette saw just over 53 percent turnout. While that is a sharp drop from 2008, Holliday notes the number of registered voters has increased dramatically.

In all 14,255 of 26,826 registered voters in Fayette cast ballots.

“We saw a lot of lines Tuesday, which to me is a good problem to have. It shows that a lot of people are interested in their government and want to make a difference going forward,” he said.

And Holliday notes early voting in Fayette, with 2,502 early voters and 230 absentees ballots, was substantial this year, too.

“Those numbers are especially good when you consider we lost three days in the middle of last week. During the day we had our Montgomery location up and running, but our other remote location in Danese and our main center here in Fayetteville were closed,” he stated.

Summers County Clerk Mary Beth Merritt said they saw a greater turnout than in the past for early, and total voter turnout.

She reported 52.48 percent of those registered voted and 17 percent of that total, around 1,646 individuals, cast an early ballot.

She explained that particularly with five days cut from early voting, the numbers are high. She said the courthouse was bustling all day during each day of early voting, and had there been an additional five days, she surmises there would have been an even greater turnout.

Monroe County Clerk Donald Evan said the county had the biggest early voting turnout they have ever had with 1,540 individuals casting an early ballot.

The overall turnout numbers fall in line with typical presidential election turnout. Monroe has 53.29 percent total turnout.

Greenbrier County Clerk Robin Loudermilk said 13,173 of more than 25,000 registered voters, just over 50 percent, voted.

She said the numbers show a larger turnout than in the past but they expected a heavy turnout for the presidential election as well as close local races.

Likewise, the Wyoming County clerk’s office said they saw a much bigger turnout than usual with 40.38 percent, with as little as 19 percent of registered voters turning out in the past. There were 1,121 early voters in Wyoming.

Nicholas County Clerk Audra Deitz explained that while a voter turnout of 53.4 percent, with 8,894 of 16,636 individuals voting, is typical for a presidential election, she deemed it a significant turnout considering the county is still recovering from the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Deitz says some residents are still without power and snow accumulation is still great in some areas.

“I think those people who really wanted to vote made sure they got out and voted,” she said.

Nicholas did have an increase in early voting from years past with more than 1,600.

— E-mail: splummer@register-herald.com

1
Text Only
Latest News
  • pittsburgh rally 5,000 rally in Pittsburgh against EPA Clean Power Plan

    The echo of people chanting, “Hey, hey, EPA, don’t take our jobs away” could be heard in downtown Pittsburgh Thursday.

    The voices came from about 5,000 United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) members and their families, along with other unions such as the Boilermakers and the Brotherhood of Electrical Workers International (IBEW), marching through the streets.

     

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha plans to idle coal workers

    Approximately 1,100 employees at 11 Alpha Resources-affiliated surface mines, preparation plants and other support operations in southern West Virginia got notice late Thursday afternoon that their jobs could be in jeopardy.

     

    August 1, 2014

  • New rules to fight black lung disease kick in today

    Joe Massie has spent the last 22 years of his life fighting a disease that takes his breath away, a disease he contracted deep underground in the coal mines over a period of 30 years. 

    Black lung may take away his breath; it has not stilled his voice.

    August 1, 2014

  • target red Zero tolerance Target Red campaign hopes to lessen intersection crashes

    It happens every day.

    A driver hurries on his or her way to work, school or maybe nowhere in particular. Just ahead, a green light turns yellow. With a little more gas, the vehicle just might be able to clear the intersection before that light turns red. Or maybe not. 

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Alpha announces intention to lay off 1,100 surface miners

    The announcement dealt another blow to Appalachia's iconic, but dwindling, fossil fuel industry. The company said 2015 industry forecasts show Central Appalachian coal production will be less than half of its 2009 output. It's due to a combination of familiar factors, Alpha said: competition from cheaper natural gas, weak domestic and international markets and low coal prices.

     

    July 31, 2014

  • Justice mines have violations in 5 states

    A West Virginia coal billionaire has more than 250 pending violations at mining operations in Kentucky and four other states.

    July 31, 2014

  • VA Greenbrier clinic to remain closed

    The Department of Veterans Affairs Greenbrier County Community Based Outpatient Clinic will remain closed due to ongoing correction of environmental concerns. 

    July 31, 2014

  • prezarrested.jpg Protesters arrested at UMWA Rally in Pittsburgh

    After marching from the David L. Lawrence Convention Center to the William S. Moorehead Federal Building in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, around 15 United Mine Workers of America (UMW) leaders were arrested.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • Mercer shooting sends one to hospital

     One person has been shot following an apparent altercation in the Montcalm area of Mercer County.

    July 31, 2014

  • UMWA1.jpg More than 5,000 protesting new EPA rules at rally

    Today, 73 buses will bring miners and UMW members to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for a labor rally and march through downtown Pittsburgh.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story