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Eastern Panhandle sees voter registration increase 9/22/2008

October 02, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

EASTERN PANHANDLE, W.VA. -- If the race for president or a local contest has you fired up and you're not registered to vote, you'd better do so soon.

That's the word from a Berkeley County voting official as the Nov. 4 general election looms.

The last day to register to vote locally and across West Virginia is Oct. 14 and there a variety of ways to register, Eastern Panhandle voting officials said.

Citizens can register to vote at county clerk's offices in Jefferson and Morgan counties, and in Berkeley County, they can register at the Berkeley County Voter Registration office at 110 W. King St. next to the old Berkeley County Courthouse.

The Jefferson County Clerk's office is in the Jefferson County Courthouse at the intersection of George and Washington streets in Charles Town. In Morgan County, the county clerk's office is in a trailer at 77 Fairfax St. in Berkeley Springs at the site of the former Morgan County Courthouse, officials said.

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Residents also can register to vote at various local agencies and services like WIC and the state Department of Health and Human Resources, said Bonnie Woodfall, chief deputy of elections in Berkeley County.

If people want to register by mail, Woodfall said her office can mail a form by calling 304-264-1989.

People can register to vote by downloading a form from the West Virginia Secretary of State's Web site at www.wvsos.com or they can register through the state Division of Motor Vehicles, Woodfall said.

Woodfall, however, warned people about registering through the DMV because if applicants do not follow the process correctly, there can be delays.

In other words, don't dally.

"I think they should hustle and get it done as soon as possible," Woodfall said.

Woodfall said her office has seen a sharp increase in new registrations, which she attributes to the presidential election and local issues like the proposal to expand the Berkeley County Commission from three to five members.

Jefferson County Clerk Jennifer Maghan said registrations have increased by a little more than 200 in recent weeks.

Early voting starts Oct. 15 and extends until Nov. 1. Two Saturdays of voting are included in that period as well, on Oct. 25 and Nov. 1. Early voting will be offered between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. those days.

Absentee voting is available but county clerks said they need applications by Oct. 29.

Military members and U.S. citizens currently overseas can arrange to have ballots faxed to them, although they must waive their right to secrecy to vote that way, Woodfall said.

Information about that service is available through local county clerk's offices.




Voting information



If you have a question about voting in the Eastern Panhandle, call your county clerk's office. The numbers are:

o Berkeley County: 304-264-1989

o Jefferson County: 304-728-3215

o Morgan County: 304-258-8545

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