Upcoming deadlines for voter registration, early voting, for special election

By ANDREA LANNOM

The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — With the special road bonds election around the corner, Secretary of State Mac Warner encourages residents to remember a few key upcoming deadlines.

Residents will vote on Oct. 7 whether to approve the issuance of $1.6 billion of state bonds to build and upgrade the state’s roads and bridges. Voting the day of the election starts at 6:30 a.m. and ends at 7:30 p.m.

Monday is the last day to register to vote in order to vote in the special election.

“This election is before us,” Warner said. “People who want to vote either need to go on the (Secretary of State’s) website or go to their county clerks because they’re the ones who actually do registration and have all the key information.”

“This is for people who haven’t registered,” Warner explained. “People may have turned 18. Most people already have registered to vote so they don’t have to re-register.”

Warner encouraged people to visit the SOS website to check accuracy of their information.

“It’s good to routinely go in and check your registration to make sure it’s current,” he said.

Early voting starts Sept. 22 and continues through Oct. 4. The last day to submit an absentee ballot application is Oct. 2.

Warner said the governor agreed to reimburse counties for the cost of paper ballots. He said bringing in machines, calibrating, checking and preparing ballots for machines all add costs for elections.

“The governor agreed to reimburse for paper ballots. Then if you want to use machines, they can but if there is an increased cost, the county will pick it up themselves,” he said. “That choice is left up to counties. The vast majority will be using paper ballots.”

He said these paper ballots will be hand-counted.

“This can be longer than, of course, things with a computer, but this is also a one-issue item,” he said. “It’s yes or no and all on this. In that regard, the counting could go rather quickly. It’s a long time since the entire state has done a paper ballot.”

According to a previous news release, since Warner took office Jan. 16, his office’s election division has worked with all 55 county clerks to register 25,707 new voters. In that same time period, clerks removed 67,483 outdated, deceased and illegible voters from the state’s database of registered voters. Warner said voter registration cleanup will be a help in the upcoming election as well.

“We will not be printing those extra ballots,” he said. “By cleaning up the list, we are saving money in supplies that you would need to prepare such as the ballots themselves. … The clerks have done a great job with that. ”

Warner also reminds people if they’re interested in becoming poll workers, they should contact their county clerks immediately.

“People can get $160 to $200 and depending on the counties, it may be more,” he said. “If someone is willing to work that Saturday, contact your county clerks. They will be pleased to hear that you want to work that day at the polls. It’s a great way to help first-hand in our democracy.”

People can register to vote with their county clerks, at the Division of Motor Vehicles or online at ovr.sos.wv.gov.

Email: [email protected]; follow on Twitter @AndreaLannom

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