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Early voting kicks off today in W.Va.

April 23, 2008|From staff reports

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Early voting begins today in courthouses throughout the state of West Virginia, including the three counties in the Eastern Panhandle.

In Jefferson County, early voting will be offered beginning today at the Jefferson County Courthouse at the intersection of George and Washington streets in Charles Town.

Early voting will extend through May 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, according to the Jefferson County Clerk's Web site.

Early voting also will be offered Saturdays, May 3 and 10, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Web site said.

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There are about 32,377 registered voters in Jefferson County.

In Berkeley County, early voting will take place at the voter registration office at 110 W. King St. in Martinsburg from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Friday, and the same hours April 28 through May 3, and May 5 to 10.

As of 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, 61,119 people were registered to vote in Berkeley County, according to the voter registration division of Berkeley County Clerk John W. Small's office.

The tally did not include more than 100 registration cards that deputy clerks had yet to file, according to Bonnie Woodfall, the supervising clerk for voter registration.

Woodfall said the office also could receive more registration cards that were postmarked by midnight Tuesday.

The preliminary tally released by Woodfall on Tuesday shows that the number of voters with no party affiliation increased by 180 to 14,348 since March 25 and the number of Democrats increased by 284 to 23,069. Republican registrations, meanwhile, decreased by 23 to 23,358, Woodfall said.

Overall registration increased by 445 since March and by 4,562 people since the May 2006 primary.

The 2008 primary marks the first opportunity for registered voters with no party affiliation to vote in the Democratic Party's primary. With the exception of statewide races for attorney general and agricultural commissioner in the May 13 election, there are no contested Republican Party primary races in Berkeley County for any elected office that comes with a salary.

All residents in the municipalities of Martinsburg or Hedgesville, W.Va., can't vote on the county's proposed zoning ordinance.

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