Early Voting Machines Tested

Updated 10/18/2012 6:25 P.M.

The Wood County Commission Thursday had a look at the electronic voting machines in advance of the start of early voting next week.

This year's early voting begins Wednesday, October 24th, a bit later than in past regular general elections.

"During the special election, because of the time frame, we were only able to do five days," says County Clerk Jamie Six. "Statewide, they saw where the same amount of people took advantage of the five days, so the Legislature last week shortened it to still have the option for early voting, but not as long."

And a reminder: early voting at community sites in Williamstown, Vienna, Lubeck and Mineral Wells begins Tuesday, October 30th

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Melody Ross is the one person who can cast a vote more than once. She's an employee of the Wood County Clerk's office, and, in this instance, her job is to conduct test votes on the county's electronic voting machines, to make sure they're ready for the start of early voting.

"Just to get the different scenarios that could possibly happen," Ross says. "We have to make sure the machine does what it is supposed to do."

October 16th, next Tuesday, is the last day to register to vote, or to change party affiliation, for the upcoming general election.

"We've also had several people come in in the past week to change their addresses," says Mark Rhodes, Deputy Wood County Clerk, " to make sure they're going to the correct precinct to vote. We only had 48 absentee ballots in the primary, and we've mailed out over 400 so far for the general."

There's quite a difference between Ohio and West Virginia when it comes to early voting. Ohio is a battleground state in the presidential election. West Virginia is not.

Still, there are a lot of local and state races local residents have to consider, including mayors races in both Parkersburg and Vienna, and, statewide, an election for governor and U.S. senator.

"Anyone who has called in, we've also told them early voting isn't just going to be at the (Donald F.) Black annex, but also at the community sites. Hopefully, the more people who vote early, the less lines there are going to be on election day."

Early voting at the community sites begins on October 30th, and, as is the case with the Donald F. Black complex in downtown Parkersburg, runs until November third.

Those community early voting sites are at the same locations as they were for the May primary.

They're the Williamstown and Vienna city buildings...and the Lubeck and Mineral Wells volunteer fire departments.


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