The Times West Virginian

Local News

April 30, 2014

Polls open in Mannington and Fairmont

FAIRMONT — Early voting opens today for interested Marion County registered voters.

Early voting will be available at Mannington City Hall or Room 104, the Al Babcock Room, in the first floor of the J. Harper Meredith Building in downtown Fairmont. Regardless of their precinct, all voters can vote at either location. Both locations are open Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and the two Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

A lot of work has gone into making sure early voting and the primary election are a success.

“People will never ever believe what it takes to put on an election,” Janice Cosco, Marion County clerk, said.

Cosco said that her staff had been working hard, preparing poll kits and testing machines for the big day.

“These kids have been working on the machines for at least 12 hours a day for three or four weeks,” Cosco said. “And that’s just on the machines. And then getting ready back here! It takes a lot of hours and time.”

In the last election, Cosco said they saw more than 2,000 voters vote early. While during the primary election, there will be 380 poll workers at the 76 precincts, in early voting there are only 14 poll workers in two polling places. All of the workers are experienced, and the poll workers working the early election in downtown Fairmont will all also be working Election Day.

“So they know what they’re doing,” Cosco said. “They’re well-trained. They could do the training classes.”

By Monday, there will have been eight training sessions training poll workers for the primary.

“We go through all of the duties that they perform during the day Election Day, and we go over everything, and ask and answer questions,” Cosco said.

Early voting will also take place on the voting machines, which were tested and verified in working order as of last Wednesday. Mannington City Hall will have five machines, and there will be eight machines at the downtown Fairmont polling place.

Cosco said that it takes about the same amount of time to put together a primary as it does a general election.

“It’s the same number of precincts, and the same number of machines, and the same staff to take care of everyone,” Cosco said. “It’s exciting. It really is.”

The primary election will be held May 13 from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The primary election allows registered Democrats and Republicans to vote for those who will appear on the ballot as candidates for their parties in the general election in November.

Voters who are registered as independent or with no party affiliation will also be able to participate in the primary election. When they go to their polling place, they must ask the poll worker for the ballot of the party of their choice. They will be given the ballot for that party, and can vote for the candidates in that party.

Marion County has 39,775 active registered voters. An active voter is a voter who votes at least once every five years. Inactive voters are still registered to vote, but their voter registration cards get moved to the back of the voter registration book the poll workers use on Election Day. This makes finding voters’ names faster on Election Day.

Of the active registered voters, 23,486 are Democrats; 8,757 are Republicans; 1,983 are independents; and 5,207 are registered with no party affiliation.

If you do not know where your polling place is located, you may call the county clerk’s office at 304-367-5447 or 304-367-5449.

Email Colleen S. Good at cgood@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @CSGoodTWV.

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