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Special election slated for Oct. 4, early voting open

By Staff | Sep 29, 2011

West Virginia voters will head to the polls to cast their ballots on Tuesday, Oct. 4 in the first ever special election for governor in the state’s history.

In January, the state Supreme Court called for the Special Election, ruling it needed to be completed in time for someone to take office by Nov. 15 of this year, a year after Earl Ray Tomblin officially took over for former Governor Joe Manchin who is now a U.S. Senator. Following the Special Election, West Virginia’s next Governor will be chosen during the 2012 elections.

Candidates will appear on the ballot in this order: Bill Maloney, Republican; Earl Ray Tomblin, Democrat; Bob Henry Baber, Mountain; Marla Ingels, Independent; Harry Bertram, American Third Position.

There are also three certified write-in candidates: John R. “Rick” Bartlett of Kingwood, Phil Hudok of Huttonsville, and Donald Lee Underwood of Buffalo.

“The winner of this election will serve for about 14 months, and a lot could happen in that period of time,” Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said. “Think about the last 14 months. We will have had three statewide elections since then. And there are important issues facing our state like job creation and Marcellus Shale. This election is very important and the people of West Virginia should go out to the ballot box and make their voice heard.”

According to the Statewide Voter Registration System maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office as of Sept. 20 there are 1,215,213 registered voters in West Virginia. There are 643,859 registered Democrat voters, 350,421 registered Republican voters, 200,261 voters registered with no party affiliation, 1,227 registered Mountain Party voters, and 19,445 voters registered with other political parties.

Voters can cast their ballot during the early voting period at the Tyler County Courthouse during regular business hours. The final day of early voting is Saturday, Oct. 1. The courthouse will be open on that day from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.

As of press time, a total of 106 early votes and eight absentee ballots had been received in Tyler County.

Secretary Tennant is also reminding voters who have requested an absentee ballot of a new feature on the Secretary of State’s website at www.wvsos.com. The new absentee ballot tracking feature allows citizens who have requested an absentee ballot to see when their request was received by their county clerk and when their ballot was sent to them. The absentee voter can also make sure their voted ballot was received by their county clerk and that their vote was counted.

Voting will be available at precincts around the state on Oct. 4 from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tyler County voting precincts for the election are as follows:

– Precinct #1: Valley Grange Hall (Alma); State Route 18, Alma; South District.

– Precinct #2: Middlebourne Fire Hall; 311 Main Street, Middlebourne; Central District.

– Precinct #3: Stealey Green Center; Dodd Street, Middlebourne; Central District.

– Precinct #4: Tyler Consolidated High School; 1993 Silver Knight Drive, Sistersville; North District.

– Precinct #5: Sistersville Church of Christ (Annex); Oxford Street, Sistersville; West District.

– Precinct #6: Sistersville Methodist Church; Main Street, Sistersville; West District.

– Precinct #7: Shirley Fire Department; State Route 23, Shirley; South District.

– Precinct #8: Paden City (Wetzel-Tyler Health Department); 425 S. 4th Avenue, Paden City; North District.

– Precinct #9: Wick United Methodist Church (Annex); Wick; South District.

– Precinct #10: Boreman Elementary School; State Route 18 South, Middlebourne; South District.

– Precinct #11: Friendly (Tyler Southern Baptist Church); State Route 2, Friendly; Central District.

– Precinct #12: Alvy Community Building; County Route (Indian Creek Road), Alvy; South District.

Each polling place equipped with at least one ADA approved Voting Machine for hearing impared voters. According to the Secretary of State, if a polling place is not handicapped accessible, votes may request a transfer of registration, however this must be received by the County Clerk no later than 30 days prior to the date of the election. Voters who have missed the 30 day deadline, may vote a provisional ballot in the county in which they are registered. A person may be able to receive assistance voting if he or she is blind, disabled, of advanced age, or posess an inability to read or write.

As stated by West Virginia Code, a voter with any of the listed conditions may declare his or her choice of candidates to an election comissioner of each political party who, in the presence of the voter and each other shall prepare the ballot for voting in the manner provided, and on request shall read the names of the candidates on the ballot to the voter. They can also be told the relative position of the names of the candiates on the ballot, then the voter shall retire to a voting booth or compartment where he or she can prepare their ballot. They may also vote from an automobile outside the polling place or precinct by the absentee balloting method, if the folling conditions are met: the polling place is not accessible, and no voters are waiting to vote inside the polling place.

For additional information regarding the Special Election, voter’s registration or Tyler County precincts, call the Tyler County Clerk’s office at 304-758-2102 or visit www.sos.wv.gov.