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The early voting period has begun

Although election day isn’t officially until Nov. 3, West Virginians already are heading to the polls.

In recent weeks, voters of the Mountain State have been able to make use of an expanded absentee ballot option, organized by the Secretery of State’s Office as a result of the COVID pandemic. All that is needed is for a registered voter to apply through the secretery’s office or their county clerk’s office, receive their ballot in the mail, vote and send it back.

On Wednesday, the state’s early voting period began, with voters able to visit their county clerk’s office to cast their ballot. No excuse or reason is needed.

It also appears as if the early voting period is off to a good start. In its first day, Brooke County officials reported 319 early voters, while Hancock County saw 192 of its residents voting.

This year, of course, will be a bit different from previous elections, so we would advise you contact your county election officials with any questions. Face coverings are required to access most local government buildings, and some offices may require you to make an appointment before going. Voters also should make certain they have a photo identification with them. It’s always best to be prepared.

The early voting period will last through Oct. 31. Brooke County residents may go to the county courthouse from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, while Hancock County offices will be open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.

Whether you choose to use the absentee option, the early voting period or wait until election day, the important thing is to make your voices heard and go vote.

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