CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More than 100,000 West Virginians had already voted in the primary election as today’s election day loomed, a number that dwarfs any other primary election in the 14-year history of West Virginia’s early voting program.
Across the state’s 55 counties, 100,962 people voted early, according to Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, while an additional 5,252 voted by absentee ballot, for a total of 106,214 ballots already cast.
That’s nearly 9 percent of the approximately 1.2 million registered voters in West Virginia. It’s also nearly eight times more than the number who voted early in the 2002 primary, the first year early voting was an option, although turnout is always lower in nonpresidential years, like 2002.
About half the ballots this year — 50.3 percent — have come from registered Democrats, according to numbers provided by Tennant’s office. That’s slightly higher than what might be expected, as about 47 percent of all registered voters are registered Democrats.
About 34 percent of early voters were registered Republicans…