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Voter registration deadline approaching, early voting to start

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginians who have not already registered to vote have less than a week to sign up to be eligible for next month's election.

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant said state residents have until Oct. 16 to register to vote in the Nov. 6 general election. Voter registration applications must be received by the Secretary of State's office or local county clerk by Oct. 16. If sent by mail, applications must be postmarked by Oct. 16.

Tennant said new voters who have never been to the polls before and registered by mail should bring a current photo ID or copy of a utility bill, bank statement, governement check, paycheck or other government document that shows a current address.

Tennant said the ID requirement only applies to first-time voters who register by mail. Voters who have been to the polls before verify their identity when they sign their name at their polling place or early voting location.

Early voting is scheduled to begin Oct. 24 and runs through Nov. 3. The early voting period includes two Saturdays, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, but there will be no early voting on Sunday Oct. 28.

Tennant said that as of Oct. 2 there were 637,893 registered Democrats in West Virginia, 354,593 registered Republicans, 1,345 members of the Mountain Party, 217,585 registered with no party affiliation and 23,041 registered with another political party.

In Kanawha County, 69,167 voters were registered as Democrats, 37,452 were registered as Republicans, 171 were registered in the Mountain Party, 24,800 were registered with no party affiliation and 1,670 were registered with another political party, according to data provided by the Secretary of State's office.

Putnam County had 14,964 registered Democrats, 14,794 registered Republicans, 33 registered members of the Mountain Party, 5,963 registered voters listing no party affiliation and 534 registered with another political party.

Anyone with questions about the election process may call the Secretary of State's office at 304-558-6000. Reach Rusty Marks at rustymarks@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.


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