Maybe it’s the summer-like weather.
Maybe it’s simply a desire to beat the crunch on election day.
Or perhaps, as Raleigh County Clerk Betty Riffe speculated Thursday, the unusually big turnout in early voting can be attributed directly to the neck-and-neck race of President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney.
Possibly, a combination of two or more, or all three.
One thing is clear: The numbers are in for two days, and they’re huge.
Day One of the early voting at the courthouse in Beckley brought 531 voters out, and Thursday another 511 lined up before an Ivotronic voting machine to mark ballots.
“It’s been going good,” Riffe said. “We’ve never had this many out in early voting.
“It might be because of the presidential race. There’s so much controversy between the presidential candidates.”
Not only will White House occupancy be at stake in the Nov. 6 general election nationwide, but West Virginia voters are also electing a governor, a U.S. senator and three members of the House of Representatives.
In fact, the two 3rd District candidates for the House claim Beckley as their hometowns — incumbent Democrat Nick Rahall and Republican nominee Rick Snuffer.
No one is allowed to engage in any politicking inside a polling place. In the case of early voting, that is confined to the large old courtroom on the second floor, once used by Circuit Judge Robert Burnside.
Nor can a voter sprout a campaign button of any kind inside the designated early voting precinct, Riffe pointed out.
“You can’t wear anything like that within 300 feet,” she said.
From all indications, just about everybody on the political spectrum was represented in Thursday’s turnout. The breakdown went like this: Constitution Party, 1; Democrats, 282; Independent, 9; Libertarian, 1; No Party Affiliation, 67; and Republicans, 147.
Riffe said no snafus occurred either day.
“We’re voting in the big courtroom and we’ve got seven stations set up,” she said.
“It’s going pretty fast.”
Early voting continues at the courthouse during normal work hours between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., and on two Saturdays — this one, and the final day to early vote, Nov. 3.
A few voters asked for assistance in using the touchscreen machines.
“You always get that,” Riffe said.
“So far, all the machines are working great.”
— E-mail: email@example.com
Maybe it’s the summer-like weather.
- Local News
Concord names Dr. Boggess as new president
The Concord University Board of Governors has selected Dr. Kendra Boggess as the University’s 12th president, contingent upon approval by the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission.
Experts help growing entrepreneurs
For farmers like the Yateses, there’s money on the table. They got to learn what and where some of those resources are at the Farm, Food, Finance seminar held at the Sandstone Visitor Center on Tuesday.
Trucking association asks drivers to put down phones and drive safely
As part of National Distracted Driving Month, the West Virginia Trucking Association is asking fellow drivers to put down the phone, according to a press release from the association.
Rahall calls meeting on W.Va.’s drug problem
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall says he has arranged a roundtable discussion with federal and West Virginia officials on the state’s prescription drug abuse and trafficking problems.
Utility gets public input for project
Construction on a $56 million transmission improvement project will begin in Fayette County come November, and representatives of Appalachian Power Company hosted a public workshop Tuesday at Midland Trail High School in order to gather community feedback before construction officially gets underway.
Burlington kids going to circus
After a donation from a radio station, a group of local kids soon will get to see the wonders of the big top.
Lewisburg takes initial step toward ‘Home Rule’
While the state Department of Commerce touts the success of phase I of the Municipal Home Rule Pilot Program, a Greenbrier County city hopes to be included in phase II, which will continue until July 1, 2019.
United Way to host ‘One Day Without Shoes’ walk
Everyone is invited to take off their shoes for a walk around town April 29 to raise global awareness about child poverty.
Women’s Resource Center to show free film for Sexual Assault Awareness Month
In effort to bring awareness and prevention, the Women’s Resource Center will host a free showing of the 2012 movie “Bully.”
Ask the WVU experts on Facebook
From graduation to gardening, West Virginia University Extension Service experts will provide their advice to participants’ specific questions during a new, weekly, one-hour question and answer session through its Facebook page.
- More Local News Headlines
- Concord names Dr. Boggess as new president