STATEMENT from West Virginia Secretary of State
from Sarah C. Bailey, Deputy Secretary of State and Director of Communications

November 12, 2008

“Given the record number of early votes cast in the three weeks preceding the election, Secretary of State Betty Ireland was optimistic that West Virginia would see a 70 percent overall turnout for the 2008 General Election.  Naturally, she was disappointed that only 58% of registered voters in West Virginia cast a ballot.” 

PRESS RELEASE from West Virginia Secretary of State

Monday, November 3, 2008 Contact: Sarah Bailey
For Immediate Release
Early voting turnout for 2008 General Election breaks state records

CHARLESTON, W.Va.: According to turnout numbers reported by each county in West Virginia, early voting is steadily increasing in popularity since its inception in 2002.  Approximately 154,000 voters took advantage of no-excuse early voting for the 2008 General Election, compared to 126,500 early voters in the 2004 General Election, which was the previous record. “Early voting is steadily increasing in popularity,” Secretary of State Betty Ireland said. “It has proven to be a great service to our citizens.”

Kanawha County had the largest number of early voters with just under 16,000. Other high turnouts occurred in Berkeley County (approx. 11,000), Wood County (just under 9,500), and Cabell (approx. 7,500).

Additionally, on the eve of Election Day, just over 13,000 absentee ballots had been voted and submitted.

Early voting turnout and absentee voting numbers as a percent of the total trended fairly much along party registration lines in the state: Democrats 58%; Republicans 32%; No Party/Other 10%. Data shows that the Mountain Party had 81 persons early vote and vote absentee.

“We expect these early voting numbers to presage a high turnout for Election Day. So be prepared for a longer than usual wait at the polls, said Ireland. “Use your time in line to take the opportunity to chat with your neighbors or meet someone from your neighborhood you do not know. But the important thing is to make your voice heard – get out and vote no matter how long it takes.”

Polls open for in-precinct voting Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. Go to to check where your polling place is, or call your county clerk.