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Early voting underway in north-central West Virginia

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CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – West Virginia joined many other states countrywide, as it opened its polls for early voting on Wednesday morning.

Early numbers suggest that, like most other states, West Virginia can expect one of the highest turnouts for the upcoming election.

In Clarksburg, lines at the Harrison County Courthouse stretched halfway down the block as people waited for the chance to cast their ballots Wednesday morning, with wait times of 30-40 minutes common as fewer people are allowed in-person to vote due to COVID restrictions.

In neighboring Lewis County, poll workers allowed people to drive up to the courthouse and vote in their vehicles to accommodate those restrictions.

Turnout numbers were also reported to be high in nearby Upshur County, where County Clerk Carol Smith said a first-day count of 450 voters crushed the former average of 250.

Some early voting statistics in West Virginia are also bucking trends seen nationally. Many pundits say many early voters are expected to be Democrats. Still, in Clarksburg, Harrison County Clerk Susan Thomas said both Democrats and Republican voters came out in equal numbers: 398 people from each party cast their votes across the county.

More than 200 voters not affiliated with the two largest parties also cast their votes during the same period.

Early voting for this election continues through Halloween, and absentee ballot requests by mail must be received by Wednesday, October 28. Those ballots can be returned in person until November 2 or by mail if they are postmarked no later than Election Day, November 3.

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