Cumberland Times-News

Local News

April 19, 2010

Early voting begins in West Virginia

Mountain State residents can cast votes starting Wednesday for May 11 primary

Keyser — KEYSER, W.Va. — West Virginia voters can cast their primary election ballots starting Wednesday, the first day of early voting in the state’s 2010 primary.

Election day is set for May 11.

In Mineral County, early voting will be held in the county commission meeting room on the ground floor of the courthouse at 150 Armstrong St. Early voting runs from April 21 to May 8, and is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Early voting hours will also be held on two Saturdays, May 1 and 8, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To participate in the primary, residents must be registered to vote by today. Since West Virginia has a closed primary system, voters can only select from among candidates running in the party in which the voter is registered. Board of education races are nonpartisan.

Registered voters with an affiliation other than Democrat or Republican can request either the Democratic or Republican ticket to vote on in the primary, but not both.

At the county level, contested races have formed for the District 3 seat on the county commission, the District 1 and District 2 seats on the board of education, and the office of circuit clerk.

Two Democrats and two Republicans are vying for the county commission seat. Incumbent Wayne Spiggle, D-Short Gap, is seeking re-election to his seat, and will square off with William Nichols, D-Ridgeley, in the primary. Former County Commissioner Jack Bowers, Fort Ashby, and Ridgeley Mayor Richard Lechliter, Ridgeley, are the Republican candidates for the seat.

School board president Allan Terry LaRue, Piedmont, faces three challengers for his District 1 seat — Michael McDowell, Burlington; William “Butch” Wahl, New Creek; and Donald Ashby Jr., Keyser.

Three candidates will vie for the District 2 seat: Cassandra Pratt, Keyser; Lara Courrier, Keyser; and Todd Ellifritz, Keyser.

Two Republicans will face off for circuit clerk, Krista Johnson Dixon, New Creek, and Robert Schadler, Keyser. Schadler currently serves as the District 49 representative in the West Virginia House of Delegates, but is not seeking re-election to that office.

Three uncontested races have formed for local office. Incumbent County Clerk Lauren Ellifritz, R-Keyser, is running for re-election. Kevin Watson, the incumbent District 3 representative on the board of education, is also running unopposed, as is incumbent Conservation Supervisor John Wagoner, Springfield.

State-level races include each seat in the House of Delegates. One Republican, Gary Howell, and two Democrats, Jim Maybury and Charles Messick, filed for the District 49 seat that represents Mineral County.

Dave Sypolt, R-Preston County, the state senator representing District 14, is running for re-election and will be unopposed in the primary. Three Democrats will vie for the opportunity to run against Sypolt in the fall: Glynis Louise Board, D-Preston County; Adam Keplinger, D-Barbour County; and Steven Shaffer, D-Preston County.

At the federal level, U.S. Rep. Alan B. Mollohan, Marion County, will face one Democratic challenger in the primary, Michael A. Oliverio, Monongalia County.

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