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Absentee voting for May primary gets under way

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

Some West Virginia voters already have decided on who should represent their parties in the fall general election.

And others will cast their ballots before the polls open at 6:30 a.m. May 9.

Circuit clerks' offices around the state are busy with absentee ballots, said Karen Nestor, chief deputy clerk for Harrison County.

"We usually have a fair amount of people (who vote absentee)," Nestor said.

One type of absentee voting already has started, she said.

"Right now, we're doing special absentee voting," she said. "That's for tractor-trailer drivers and other people who will be away from home on election day, but have no out-of-county address for us to send a ballot to."

Special absentee voting will end Saturday, she said. Next Monday, voters can cast regular absentee ballots.

"That's for somebody who will be away on vacation on election day, or somebody who will be working out of the county," said Nestor.

Poll clerks also can vote during that period, which runs until Saturday, May 6, Nestor said. Others eligible include college students and military personnel and their families, she said.

To better accommodate absentee voters, the circuit clerk's office will be open during regular business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., both on April 22 and May 6, she said.

Voters who are now away from their home county can have the clerk's office send them a ballot, she said. The last day those ballots can be mailed to voters by the clerk's office is May 4.

To be counted, it must have a May 9 postmark, and must be received by the time county commissioners conduct the election canvass, Nestor said. That canvass normally takes place the Monday following the election, she said.

Those who will be in Harrison County between now and the election can vote in person at voting booths set up in the circuit clerk's office, Nestor said.

The Harrison County Circuit Clerk's office is located on the third floor of the courthouse, which is accessible only by elevator.

Staff writer Paul Darst can be reached at 626-1404.

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