"I think 1,200 absentees is probably a record," said Burkhart, the former Circuit Clerk who had some responsibility for elections. "Back when I was circuit clerk 450-500 was a lot. Of course we have a much larger (voter) registration now." The county has a record registration of almost 39,000 voters.
"I think it's all the campaigns together," he said, speculating on the reason for the turnout. "There's going to be a lot of close races."
In addition to president and governor, Eastern Panhandle voters will help elect a new member to Congress in what has been a tight, hard-fought race. Several local races, including one for a new county commissioner, and races for prosecutor and sheriff also have heightened interest.
All local members of the West Virginia Legislature who must seek election have chosen to do so and many of them have drawn hard-fought challenges.
In Jefferson County, voters will select a new sheriff, a new Jefferson County Commissioner from the Middleway District, three county magistrates and will vote on races for the 55th House of Delegates seat and the 56th House of Delegates seat.
Voters also will cast ballots for the 16th District state Senate seat, which represents all three Eastern Panhandle counties in the Legislature.
Jefferson County Clerk John Ott predicted voter turnout could reach 60 percent today.
Ott said his prediction was based on the high number of absentee ballots that had already been cast in the county.
About 700 absentee ballots were turned in for the election, the most local election officials can remember in recent history.
"I think a lot of people went ahead and absentee voted figuring they would have to stand in line," Ott said Monday.
If there is a line at any of the county's 30 precincts at the close of polling today, voters in line will be given a number, which will allow them to enter their polling place after polls close to cast their votes, Ott said.
Those who try to get in line after numbers are given out will not be allowed to vote, Ott said.
With Pennsylvania expected to be one of the deciding states in today's election, Franklin County, Pa., Chief Registrar Jennie Aines expects to see a very high turnout.
"I think with all of the press that Pennsylvania is one of the states that could help decide the election, Pennsylvanians may get out to vote if they feel they have some say," Aines said.
She expects turnout will be at least as high as the 1996 presidential election when 74 percent of Franklin County residents who were registered cast their votes
Stacey Danzuso and Dave McMillion contributed to this story.