Early voting starts Wednesday in West Virginia. This year Kanawha County is offering six early voting locations, hoping to get more residents to cast a ballot.
“It’s a great thing to be able to vote in your hometown, and to be able to have that polling place right in your hometown, especially for early voting,” David Fletcher told 13 News.
Fletcher is a lifelong Belle voter and now he’s running for Mayor. He thinks this convenience will get more neighbors to the polls.
“Where we’ve got people that can come out, that may not be able to go to Charleston, and really even have a hard time getting to the polls on election day,” Fletcher added.
Previously, Kanawha County voters could only cast an early ballot at the voter registration office. Now they can select from Belle or Marmet Town Hall, Elkview or Cross Lanes Sheriff’s Detachments or the Sissonville Library.
“What you can do is like fast food, make it convenient, make sure that they know their vote is safe. That’s the purpose of this,” Kanawha County Commissioner Kent Carper explained.
Carper says the Kanawha County Commission wanted to make early voting accessible to neighbors at all ends of the county.
“This is a 900-sq mile county and for folks who live up in the eastern end of the county or the western part of the county, or Sissonville or up Elk River, needed to be treated fair. That’s why we fought for this law,” Carper added.
One of the other new things voters will notice are these Express Vote machines where voters can simply press the machine to select their candidate and print out the results instead of filling out a paper ballot.
“On election day if they haven’t had time to go to one of the locations they can go to their precinct, but we do hope for a better turnout. You know it’s the people’s privilege to get to vote,” Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick said.
Voters should also remember identification is required to cast a ballot this year. Common ID like a driver’s license, passport or birth certificate are accepted, along with a long list of alternatives including:
Acceptable forms of ID include:
-Boter Registration card
-Medicare or Social Security card
-WV hunting or fishing license
-WV SNAP card
-WV TANF ID card
-Bank or debit card
-Utility bill or bank statement (from within 6 months ago)
-Health insurance card
-Military ID card
-U.S. or WV Government employee ID card
-Concealed carry permit