CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Early voting has come to a close nationwide, and reports from the U.S. Elections Project show the number of early votes across the country has increased from the last midterm election in 2018, but West Virginia has seen the opposite.
National statistics show the total of early voters rose from 39.1 million in 2018 to 43.2 million in 2022. The same trend applies if you break down the numbers into in-person and mail-in ballots.
Numbers for West Virginia, however, do not show the increase. According to the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office, statewide numbers show a decrease of 175,408 early voters in 2018 to 130,211 early voters in 2022.
Part of that is due to a drop in registered voters, but the percentage of early voting is down slightly too.
In Kanawha County, 16,360 early votes were recorded in 2018 compared to 12,895 votes this year. Cabell County saw similar numbers with 8,960 early votes recorded in 2018 and 5,977 recorded this year.
As for other states in the region, this was Kentucky’s first year for early voting, and Ohio’s early voting ended Monday, Nov. 7.