Four years ago, Parkersburg was one of the first communities in West Virginia to participate in no-fault, or early voting, which had been approved by the state Legislature earlier in the year, and Clerk Connie Shaffer believes that with a full election cycle completed it's become accepted by voters.
"During the general election, it was just starting and we might have had 10 or 12 people then," Shaffer recalls. "I expect a few hundred this time."
There was a low turnout in the primary four years ago. One reason was that the mayor's race that year was uncontested. Another was that it took place on September 11, 2001.
With a mayoral primary that has four candidates, three of them in one party, Shaffer believes the turnout this year will be higher.
"They do have three people running for mayor of the city, and several in the council races, and I do expect a good turnout," Shaffer recalls. "Hopefully I'd like to see at least 30 percent."
The City Council chambers will be the location for early voting from Wednesday until the Saturday before the primary election.
Early voting will take place weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on the Saturdays of August 6 and 13 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
A list of candidates is available at www.parkersburg-wv.com.