West ?Virginia's primary election is only a couple of short weeks away, and while there are only a few races to be determined on May 13, that doesn't mean area residents shouldn't take some time to head to the polls.
It has been strangely quiet this election cycle. On occasion, I've been asked what I've heard in the community, and it honestly has been very little.
In fact, if it wasn't for the campaign signs sprouting up throughout the community and the splattering of advertisements, I wouldn't have even known there was an election approaching.
Perhaps knowing little will be determined on May 13 is the reason not much has been said, but that doesn't mean the primary election should be overlooked. There are still some races to be determined, and residents need to let their voices be heard.
In both Hancock and Brooke counties, three seats on the boards of education and the county commissions are up for grabs.
In Hancock County, for example, challenger Joe Barnabei will face incumbent Dan Greathouse for the county commission seat.
The same post in Brooke County is up for grabs in a race between challenger Stacy Hukill Wise and incumbent Norma Tarr.
All four are Weirton residents
Hancock County's three school board seats are being sought by Toni M. Hinerman of Weirton, Laura Greathouse of New Cumberland, John Manypenny of New Cumberland and Michelle Chappell of New Cumberland.
It will be different in Brooke County, though, where only three candidates are on the ballot for the three seats.
In Brooke County three school board seats are sought by Chad D. Haught of Weirton, James F. Lazear of Wellsburg and Frank A. Ujcich of Wellsburg, meaning all three automatically will retain their seats.
Brooke County also will have two levies on its ballots.
The first levy will continue to provide $371,382 in funding to the county's volunteer fire departments. The second will fund $799,284 for the county's libraries, ambulance services, senior programs, county museum, health department, improvements to the courthouse and other services.
All other candidates on the local ballot automatically move on to the general election in November.
There also are some national seats, including the primary round for U.S. Senate.
In the meantime, a period of early voting is coming up, and if you think you won't be available on the actual election day, you should consider using it.
According to the West Virginia Secretary of State's website, the early voting period will be April 30 to May 10. All one has to do is go to their county courthouse during regular business hours and ask to cast their ballot.
Those votes will be counted along with those cast on election day.
We plan to include information on the levies and the local contested races in the next couple of weeks to assist residents with understanding the issues and the goals of the candidates.
But, if there is something pertaining to the election about which residents feel strongly, I also encourage them to discuss their opinions.
Some residents have done so through our Letters to the Editor section. That is an option, although if you want to do so, it must be soon as next Sunday will be the final opportunity before election day comes around.
You may have noticed the "Editor's note" appearing on our letters page in recent weeks.
As a regular practice, we limit our election discussions and coverage for approximately one week before residents step into the voting booth.
So, May 4 will be the final day for letters pertaining to the election to appear in these pages. We must receive them no later than noon on May 1 to be included, and they must follow our letters policy, which appears at the bottom of this page.
All elections are important and should be taken seriously.
Exercise your right and privilege to vote in the upcoming election. Let your voice be heard.
(Howell, a resident of Colliers, is managing editor of The Weirton Daily Times, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or followed on Twitter @CHowellWDT)