As early voting ends Saturday, turnout may set record


    County clerk Vera McCormick said more than 6,000 ballots have already been cast and nearly half of those voters are Democratic.<p>{/p}

    Saturday is the last day for early voting in the state, and so far the voter turnout numbers may set a record.

    The early voting numbers in Kanawha County have surpassed the last midterm election, and the Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick said they may even exceed the previous 2016 presidential election.

    "We are up right now to 12,750 for early voting for that presidential election," McCormick said. "It was 14,387, so I think with today and tomorrow we may pass."

    West Virginians across the state have cast their ballots before Election Day.

    "I think more people realize the convenience of it. Usually we vote earlier than this," said Thelma Rogers of Charleston.

    As of Friday morning, more than 132,000 people voted early according to the Secretary of States Office. The early voting number is higher than the last two midterm elections and 75,000 votes less than the 2016 Election.

    Stephanie Command of Charleston early voted for the first time. She said while some people prefer Election Day voting, she liked the flexibility with voting now.

    "It's just as fun, you got the stickers, there are people around, it's not empty, and you're not voting by yourself," Command said. "You get the ceremony of all, and it feels like you are doing your civic duty."

    The Secretary of States Office even broke down the early voting numbers to votes cast in each party. So far 58,835 Democrats voted compared to 49,811 Republicans. Posing the question can the numbers help in the prediction of the election?

    "I don't know if you can predict it," McCormick said. "I think we will be busy and I think we will do better this off-year than many many years."

    While McCormick expects a larger number of people to come out for Election Day, she said early voting has helped with voter turnout.



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