County clerks hope to attract more early voters in Primary Election this week


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — County clerks across West Virginia say voter turnout one week into the 10-day early voting period has been steady.

Tony Petrucci
Berkeley County Clerk Tony Petrucci told MetroNews, as of Wednesday, they’ve had around 2,200 early voters.

“We’re probably a little ahead of the game, but I’d like to see more to tell you the truth,” he said, adding that more registered Republicans have cast their ballots compared to Democrats and non-affiliated voters.

Petrucci said early voters have more access to vote in this election. The county has two satellite locations in addition to the Berkeley County Voter’s Registration Office.

“We’re thinking in November the satellite locations will probably be busier than they are in the primary. That might take a little load off the downtown office,” he said.

There are more than 90,000 registered voters in Berkeley County.

Voters are generally more interested in this election because there are more high-profile races on the ballot including president and governor. Ohio County Elections Coordinator Jessica Klinger said there’s also a big mayor’s race in Wheeling that’s drawing voters in locally.

“Those races are important, but I think also too that the mayoral race happening in the city is drawing a lot of attention as well and then several running for each ward,” she said.

The Wheeling mayoral race will be decided in the Primary Election. There are six candidates running for that office. The next mayor will assume office in July.

More than 200 poll workers are ready for Tuesday. Klinger said they’ve been able to generate a lot of interest from young people.

“We had a major turnout from the local high schools of 18-year-old voters who are interested in serving on Election Day, so we’ve really had a good turnout,” she said.

Ohio County has more than 27,000 registered voters. The county saw about 1,000 early voters as of Wednesday morning.

Klinger expects more people to head to the polls on Tuesday.

“I think a lot of folks enjoy voting on Election Day, so I think the turnout is going to be more in-person on Election Day,” she said.

The early voting period ends Saturday.

Polls will open at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and close at 7:30 p.m.

MetroNews will provide live, continuous coverage of the election starting at 7:06 p.m. election night and results will be posted in real time on our website​