Early voters wait patiently to cast ballots in West Virginia

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MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (WDVM) — If the lines at polling stations on the first day of early voting in West Virginia are any indication, we’re on track for a record turnout at the polls this year.

Election day is not until a week from Tuesday. The first person in line at the Berkeley County polling station 13 days out was here at 5:20 a.m.

Elections chief Darrell Shull says all has been running smoothly. “We’re processing about 150 voters an hour,” he says. “If the line’s about 300 voters deep it’s a two-hour wait in line.”

And while the day one weather was ideal, one gets the sense they would be here, even in a storm.

Emilie Fletcher, a Martinsburg voter, and mom says, “our girls’ future depends on what happens next. So we’re ready to do whatever it takes for them to have a better future.”

Kashira Boone is a young Martinsburg voter who says, “I think people are finally starting to realize how important our elections are. And I think it’s important especially for young people.”

And while clearly everyone values this precious right to vote, lines in neighboring Jefferson County were four hours long.

Former West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tenant, Democratic nominee for the office this year, says if absentee ballot applications were more accessible, this could have been avoidable. And there are calls for satellite voting locations.

John Hammonds from Spring Mills says, “maybe they should have more locations. they only have one location here in town.”

Early voting in West Virginia contiues until October 31.

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