Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley said considering this is a special election and early voting had only been going on for five days, she was impressed with the turnout. She also reminded early voting will continue through Saturday, Oct. 1. Early voting hours this week are 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Tuesday-Friday and 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on Saturday on the second floor of the Mason County Courthouse.
Cromley estimates this special election will cost the county around $45,000 - a cost which will eventually be reimbursed by the State of West Virginia. The county recently received its reimbursement check for the special election held earlier this year which cost roughly $45,000 as well. Even though there’s only one ballot issue to decide, it still takes the same amount of workers to work those 38 precincts, precincts which take an estimated five poll workers each.
The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office reported as of Monday morning, a total of 18,244 early votes had been cast state-wide with 10,582 Democrats, 6,116 Republicans, five Mountain Party members, 1,490 No Party members and 31 other party members, voting. There had been 179 Democrats, 113 Republicans and 10 No Party voters who’d cast votes in Mason County before early voting began again on Monday morning, again according to the WV Secretary of State’s Office. Other early voting numbers from across the state, as of the start of business on Sept. 26, include: Kanawha County, 1,873 ballots cast; Monongalia County, 1,091 ballots cast; Berkley County, 929 ballots cast; Cabell County, 705 ballots cast; Jackson County, 525 ballots cast and Wirt County with only one ballot cast.
Vying for gubernatorial votes on the Oct. 4 ballot are: Bob Baber of Glenville and the Mountain Party; Harry Bertram of Maidsville and the American Third Position Party; Marla Ingels of New Haven, running as an Independent; Bill Maloney of Morgantown and the Republican Party; Earl Ray Tomblin of Charleston and the Democratic Party.
The regular period of early voting in person begins 13 days before the election and continues until three days before the election. Early votes are counted on election day when ballots go to the precinct where it will be counted or placed with other ballots for computer tabulations, according to the WV Secretary of State’s Office.
Besides early voting, voters can vote absentee by requesting and then mailing in their ballot. However, the last day to request an absentee ballot is Wednesday, Sept. 28.