Opinion

West Virginians need to vote

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — In last Sunday’s edition of The Exponent Telegram, Staff Writer Jim Davis reported some news that should concern many of our readers.

Area county clerks told Davis that they don’t expect a strong turnout for the upcoming general election slated for Nov. 4.

That forecast has been echoed by political scientists and pundits.

We find the forecast to be disconcerting, especially in light of the magnitude of the races on the ballots.

State residents will be electing a U.S. senator to replace the retiring Jay Rockefeller, who has served this great state for 30 years.

Current Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, a Democrat, are vying for the position. The winner also will become the state’s first female elected to the Senate.

Also on the ballot are seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, as well as local races of interest ranging from sheriff to county commission.

In the North Central West Virginia region, there also is a key state Senate race between Mike Romano, a Democrat, and Mike Queen — a former Democrat now running as a Republican. Both are from Harrison County, but would serve a senatorial district that includes Lewis, Gilmer, Braxton and Clay counties.

And with the resurgence of the Republican Party, as well as the trend toward voters registering independent of party affiliation, there are expected to be highly contested state House of Delegate races as well. Experts have indicated that there’s a chance that the state House could flip to Republican control for the first time in about 85 years.

Which brings us to ponder why voters wouldn’t want to be involved in determining who will fill these key leadership roles for the next, two, four or six years…

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