WEST VIRGINIA (WOWK) – Although neither President Donald Trump nor Vice President Joe Biden visited the Mountain State this campaign cycle, the support and criticism of both has mirrored the country.
So how has voting gone today? We’re about to find out as we take a quick tour of our sister Nexstar stations in West Virginia.
Reporter Aliah Keller begins our trek across West Virginia and is reporting from the northern panhandle. She spoke to several county clerks up here.
Many counties have set early voting records. A lot of the counties are saying in-person voting has been brisk, with some long lines, especially in Brooke and Hancock counties.
Both say they’ve had a good turn out.
Marshall County has been busy, while Ohio County has been steady all day.
County clerks say they haven’t experienced many problems and they’re not expecting more this evening.
Meanwhile, Katie Rhee is in Berkeley County in the eastern panhandle, and what she has seen is a decent voter turnout.
The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office says that nearly 20,000 ballots were cast ahead of Election Day in just Berkeley County alone.
But that hasn’t stopped voters in the eastern panhandle from getting out and casting their vote.
They also say that any absentee ballot that is postmarked by today will be counted during canvas, but that any ballot that is received by tonight will be counted alongside those in-person ballots.
Reporter Amanda Mueller is in north central West Virginia, where there is a large turnout.
While there has been some wait times in some of the larger polling places around, it has been general smooth sailing in the smaller precincts.
Between returned absentee ballots and early voting, all fourteen counties were already at least half of the turnout rate they had for the full 2016 presidential election before any votes were cast today.
Lewis and Preston counties traditionally have the highest turnouts in the state – that distinction both held in 2016.
Amanda is also keeping a close eye on Monongalia County, which has some of the higher percentages of outstanding absentee voter ballots in the state – that means those races may still be in question by the end tonight.
Reporter Claudia Sessa is located at America’s resort, the Greenbrier, in White Sulfur Springs, where Governor Jim Justice is holding his watch party.
There are some big names there tonight, including Attorney General Patrick Morrisey.
Claudia ran into Governor Justice earlier today when he was voting at his precinct in Lewisburg, who says that Governor Justice’s wife and his dog ‘Baby Dog will be making appearances tonight.
This event is scheduled to run until midnight, and they are following social distancing guidelines.
Lastly, Reporter Natalie Wadas is in Cabell County, where the county got off to a good start with people lining up at polling locations ahead of their 6:30 a.m. openings, but things have definitely quieted down throughout the day.
As of this evening, there aren’t lines anymore, but poll workers have told me there have been slow but steady streams of people coming in and out to vote in person.
Also, voters that Natalie has spoken with say the whole process of voting took around five to ten minutes or even less here, and a lot of them attribute that to the fact that it seems most people came out in the morning or voted with mail-in ballots.
And along those lines, it is worth noting that the county clerk’s office says they have had record numbers of mail-in ballots returned – roughly 90 percent of those requested have been returned.
Polls close in West Virginia at 7:30 pm and officials say they’re hoping to get them all quickly tallied by late tonight.