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this weeks edition:
County sets early voting record…
Voter turnout has been heavy throughout West Virginia during the first few days of the early voting period. Braxton County has been no exception. This is believed to be the largest turnout, during the first 4 days, on record. As of the close of the poll on Saturday, 788 voters had cast their ballot since the early voting began. By comparison, only 417 residents cast their ballot during the entire two weeks of the period for the primary election
The heavier than usual turnout has created some delays with some voters reporting wait times of up to 30 minutes. According the Deputy County Clerk Shelia Butler, the delays are caused by multiple factors. She says the large number of voters has been the biggest factor with a steady stream of residents since the special polling place opened. She added that the COVID restrictions were also a contributing factor. Voter must remain six feet apart, except for family members, which limits the number that may occupy the building at the same time. The voting machine must be sanitized after each use which also slows things down.
Early voting is a good option that Jeanine and I have utilized since they started offering it. In this special time it is probably even more important that the voters be heard and numbers indicate that I am not the only one that thinks that way. The Secretary of State recently published some tips for voting in person which apply for early voting as well as election day. Here are some of the highlights.
• Be prepared and be patient. The health and safety of poll workers and voters is a top priority for in-person voting. Voters will be asked to maintain at least 6 feet from those around them to comply with social distancing, which may make lines seem longer than normal. Voters should consider bringing a bottle of water, umbrella, or even a chair, depending on weather conditions.
• Bring a mask. The Governor’s Executive Order 50-20 requires face coverings while indoors. Please bring your personal mask, bandanna, scarf, or other protection. If you don’t have a face covering, one may be provided upon request.
• Importantly, no voter may be turned away at the polls. If you have trouble, please call your county clerk or the Secretary of State’s Office at 304-558-6000 or 1-877-FRAUD-WV.
• Review your sample ballot ahead of time and check on your polling location. In fact a sample ballot can be found in this issue of both the Citizens’ News and the Democart-Central.
• Remember, it is illegal to record the voting process inside a voting booth, so please do not take pictures or videos while voting.
• Bring identification. West Virginia law requires voters to provide one of many forms of valid identification when casting a ballot in person. Voter ID does not have to include a photo but must show the voter’s name.
Regardless of when or how you vote, just make sure your voice is heard. I for one can live with the will of the people whether I like the end results or not. But it needs to be the majority not just the most of a small group that took the time to vote. Lets make this election a true example of majority rules.