Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 1, 2014

Vote early: Cast a ballot now in W.Va.

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— — Early voting is now underway in West Virginia’s closely watched May 13 primary contest. If you are a registered voter, there is no excuse for not casting a ballot in the upcoming contest, as area election officials are affording you multiple ways to vote.

In Mercer County, early ballots can be cast at both the courthouse in Princeton and the satellite precinct in Bluefield, which is located inside of the youth center on Stadium Drive. Early ballots can be cast in Mercer County Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Voters can also cast an early ballot from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, and Saturday, May 10.

The same goes for McDowell County where voters can cast an early ballot daily between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. at the courthouse in Welch, which will also be open on May 3 and  May 10. And in Monroe County, voters can vote early at both the courthouse in Union and the satellite precinct at the Peterstown Town Hall.

Important decisions await area voters, as local, state and federal races will be on the ballot. For example, there are contested county commission races in both Mercer and McDowell counties. The same goes for the local board of education races. In McDowell County, eight candidates are vying for three seats on the local school board. And the Democratic nomination in the closely watched House of Delegates District 26 race also is contested with Delegate Clif Moore, D-McDowell, being challenged by fellow Democrat S.P. “Pat” McKinney for the party’s nomination. The winner will then face Republican Tom Acosta, who is running unopposed for the Republican nomination, this November.

Voters don’t have to provide an excuse, or an explanation, for voting early. (Absentee voting by comparison does require that the voter meet certain qualifications.)

Early voting is simply provided as a courtesy to encourage more registered voters to vote. That’s why we would strongly encourage voters across southern West Virginia to take advantage of early balloting.

But most importantly — please vote. It doesn’t matter if you cast a ballot early, or wait until May 13 to vote, as long as you do vote. This election will have a direct impact on citizens across our region. Please let your voice and opinion be heard. Don’t let this all-important opportunity pass you by.

There is simply too much at stake this election year to not cast a ballot both in May and November.