Voting in today's primary appeared to be running smoothly, with voters and election officials seeing few of the problems that plagued the May 2006 primary.
New voting systems were installed two years ago to comply with the federal Help America Vote Act, but several counties then had trouble setting up and operating the equipment.
Not this year.
"It has continued to go smoothly,'' said Jason Williams, manager of the Secretary of State elections division. "As of right now, we have not had any reports of major issues in reference to voting machines, poll workers or anything like that.''
A few counties reported poll workers showing up late -- or not at all -- forcing some precincts to delay their openings.
One precinct in Fayette County was operating on a backup generator today, two days after severe storms knocked out power in parts of the state. County Clerk Kelvin Holliday said no problems were reported there.
Voter turnout was steady in many areas, including Kanawha County, home to the state Capitol.
"It's running like most presidential elections. We're usually pretty busy,'' Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick said. "We're the swing state and everybody's very excited about that. There's history in the making this year. We're excited about it and most of the voters in Kanawha County are excited and are wanting to get out and vote.''
McCormick said there were minor incidents involving workers from the campaigns for Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama. A Clinton campaign worker walked into a precinct hoping to get vote totals, while an Obama worker attempted to leave campaign brochures at a precinct. State law bans campaigning within 300 feet of polling places. Besides, vote counting doesn't begin until after the polls close at 7:30 p.m.
Much of the attention is on the presidential race, but the Democrats' primary ballot also features contested races for governor, state Supreme Court and secretary of state.
One Senate seat, the 2nd Congressional District and numerous legislative races are also on the ballot.
A zoning issue contributed to solid turnout in Berkeley County.
"The voting must be pretty good because we have some lines at our precincts,'' said Bonnie Woodfall, the county's chief deputy of elections.
This is the first time the Democratic Party has invited unaffiliated or nonpartisan voters into its primary. But Woodfall said some confused independent voters asked for nonpartisan ballots that include the local school board race, but no statewide and national offices.
"They're getting highly upset about that. There's not a lot we can do,'' Woodfall said. "It's the voters' responsibility to know what's available.''