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Early voting for Martinsburg election to be held on two Saturdays

May 31, 2012|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Martinsburg residents will be able to vote early in the city’s municipal election on Saturday and on June 9, City Recorder Gena Long said Thursday.

Long, the city’s chief election officer, said she was advised by Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office that early voting is to be held on two Saturdays prior to the June 12 election, instead of only one Saturday as previously announced.

Early voting in the election began Wednesday at City Hall, and ballots can be cast from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day through June 9, except Sunday.

Long said 83 early ballots had been cast as of 4:30 p.m., Thursday.

Jake Glance, spokesman for Tennant’s office, said Thursday in an email that the state’s original early voting law provided for a time frame that spanned three Saturdays, but no early voting on the first Saturday. Lawmakers last year reduced the early voting period from 15 to 10 days, but still required early voting on two Saturdays, according to state code.

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“We checked with the city, and they had not planned on voting on both Saturdays,” Glance said. “The situation has been fixed.”

Early voting is taking place in the J. Oakley Seibert Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall at 232 N. Queen St. Ballots are available at Long’s office, also on the second floor.

No electioneering, such as having signs on vehicles, is allowed on City Hall property or in the building while early voting is under way,  Long said.

Polls will be open on election day from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., but residents must then vote at their assigned precincts, not City Hall.

In addition to early voting, voters also can request an absentee ballot. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is June 6, Long said.

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