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School bond issue brings out voters

May 12, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Approximately one-third of Jefferson County's 25,830 registered voters turned out for Tuesday's West Virginia primary election, officials said.

Voting numbers were not available Tuesday night for Berkeley and Morgan counties.

In Berkeley County, voting was steady during the day at Martinsburg South Middle School, which was the site for residents in two precincts.

"We've had a steady vote. Both sides really have been pretty good," said poll worker Deanna Hardy.

Fellow poll worker LaRue Frye said that, although she would like to have seen more younger voters, a better representation of the population was present than in the past.

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Amy Close, 24, said friends and family encouraged her to head to the polls. It was her first time punching a ballot.

Close said she was most interested in the presidential race, but she declined to say for whom she voted.

Her fiance, Dale Hunter Jr., 25, wanted to vote because his cousin is a Democratic magistrate candidate.

"I vote every year. It's a privilege to vote," Hunter said.

Poll workers Suzanne Taylor, 18, and Tia Shroades, 20, initially said they decided to take on the one-day job because it offered them experience and a chance to see how politics work.

When asked what really brought them out, they replied in unison, "The money."

For working from 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., poll workers receive $140.

Neither plans to return for the Nov. 2 general election, since Taylor is enlisting in the Army and Shroades is a student at Shepherd College.

In Jefferson County, Marge Hoover came to Wright Denny Intermediate School in Charles Town, W.Va., to vote, and the most pressing thing on her mind was Jefferson County's proposed $19 million school construction bond.

Hoover said it was "foolish not to go with it."

She was referring to the approximately $25 million in state money already awarded for the project that will have to be returned if the bond is not passed.

"They need the schools," said Hoover, of Charles Town.

After weighing the issue, Todd Coyle also voted for the bond. Coyle, of Charles Town, said there is so much politics and opinions in an election he had to go to public forums to sort out facts for himself.

Ronald Whitmore was mostly interested in talking about President Bush. Whitmore, who was voting at Wright Denny, said he likes how Bush has handled Iraq.

"It takes guts to do some things, and you have to go ahead and do it," Whitmore said.

As far as local races were concerned, Whitmore said he was trying to vote certain people out of office.

Whitmore declined to say for whom he was voting, but he said he was upset that Jefferson County was being overrun by development.

"Jefferson County is a mess," said Whitmore, of Charles Town.

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