Tuesday is the last day to register for voting in the May Primary


Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — In person and online options are available today for people who have not registered yet to vote during the upcoming May Primary Election.

Today is the last day for voter registration before the May Primary. Mercer County Clerk Verlin Moye said Monday that the county had around 57,000 citizens according to the last census. About 65 percent of the county's population — around 37,000 — are registered to vote.

"And that's pretty much as good as it gets," Moye said.

Moye said he believes the best way to register to vote is by coming to the county courthouse in Princeton. The courthouse is open today from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Another way to register is by visiting the Mercer Votes website at mercervotes.com. A link to the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office website is available at Mercer Votes, Moye said. Sample ballots can be viewed on the website, too.

According to West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, there are three primary ways to register to vote in West Virginia. The first is for an eligible resident of the state to visit an in-person voter registration agency, such as their local county clerk's office or DMV.

The second is through the mail by completing a paper Voter Registration Form that can be downloaded from GoVoteWV.com or requested by phone from a county clerk's office. If returned by mail, paper applications must be postmarked on or before the April 23 deadline.

The third is online using the secure website hosted by the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office at GoVoteWV.com. Online registrations must be completed by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23, and applicants must have a state-issued I.D. card to use this option.

"We want every eligible and interested West Virginia resident to participate in our election process," Warner said. "The first and most important step to do that is to register to vote."

Warner encouraged currently registered voters who may have moved or changed their name since the last election to update their registration to reflect the change.

Moye said the reason behind the May 14 Primary is to narrow down the candidates for the General Election in November. Which ballot a voter can use during elections depends on that voter's registration.

"What you vote is based on your registration," he said.

For example, voters registered with the Mountain Party will be given a Mountain Party ballot, Moye said. Voters registered as Libertarian will be given a nonpartisan ballot because the Libertarian ballot does not have any candidates.

Voters registered as independents and no-party affiliation can request a Republican, Democrat or nonpartisan ballot.

"What the nonpartisan ballot is is the judge races, magistrates, family law and, of course, very importantly the excess levy issue," Moye said.

The school excess levy is on all ballots.

Early voting will begin May 1 and continue until May 11.

"This is going to be an average election turnout, but the General Election is going to be really something," Moye said. "I feel we'll break a record this General Election."

National, state and county ballots can be viewed at the West Virginia Secretary of State's website.

Voters will decide a host of local and statewide races on May 14.

Some of the non-partisan races will be decided at that time, including school board, judgeship and magistrate races, along with the Mercer County school levy vote.

Races on the ballot include the Mercer County Commission contest.

Candidates who have filed for the District 2 seat on the Mercer County Commission include Karen Champion Pendleton of Princeton who filed as a Republican and Stephanie Dempsey of Bluefield, who also filed as a Republican. Brian Blankenship has also filed as a Republican for the District 2 county commission seat. Republican Carl Calfee and Republican Jeremiah Nelson have also filed for the District 2 seat.

In another Mercer County race, Paul Hodges has filed in the non-partisan Division 3 Mercer County Board of Education race. Jim Bailey has filed for Division 1 on the board of education.

Other candidate filings to date in Mercer County include Alan Christian, who filed as a Republican to run for sheriff of Mercer County. Incumbent Republican Prosecuting Attorney Brian Cochran has filed for re-election.

Two candidates have filed for the Republican nomination for assessor. They are incumbent Assessor Lyle Cottle and Tommy Bailey, the current sheriff of Mercer County.

Six candidates have filed in the non-partisan magistrate race. The candidates are Alvin Marchant, who filed in Division 5, and incumbent magistrates Mike Crowder (Division 4), Keith Compton (Division 3), Mike Flanigan (Division 1), Susan Honaker (Division 2), William Holroyd (Division 5) and Sandra Dorsey (Division 5).

Incumbent Circuit Court Judges William J. Sadler (Division 2) and Mark Wills (Division 3) have filed for re-election in the non-partisan Judicial Circuit 13. Kelli Harshbarger, an assistant prosecuting attorney, attorney Derrick Lefler and attorney Ryan Flanigan have filed in Division 1 of the 13th Judicial circuit. The judgeship became vacant when Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope retired on Dec. 31, 2023.

Angela Walters, who Gov. Jim Justice appointed to the 12th Family Circuit Court, Division 2, serving Mercer and McDowell counties in November 2023, has filed to run for the judgeship. Cathy Wallace has filed to run for the 12th Circuit Family Court, Division 2, judgeship. Adam B. Wolfe has also filed to run for the 12th Family Court, Division 2. Anthony Bisaha has filed to run in the race for Family Court Circuit 12, Division 1 and Lisa Kay Clark has filed to run for Family Court Circuit 12, Division 3.

In McDowell County, incumbent Prosecuting Attorney Brittany Puckett has filed for re-election as a Democrat.

Incumbent McDowell County Sheriff James Muncy has filed for re-election as a Democrat.

Sherry Burton, Democrat, has filed to run for McDowell County Assessor.

Danny Mitchell, Mark Shelton, Richard Vandyke and Ronald Blevins filed in the non-partisan McDowell County magistrate race.

John Callaway, Margaret Beavers, Georgia West, Ed Evans, Kendrick King and Joey Proffitt have filed in the non-partisan McDowell County Board of Education contest.

Incumbent Circuit Court Judge Rick Murensky filed for re-election in the non-partisan Judicial Circuit 12 (Division 1) in McDowell County.

Republicans Dewayne Dotson and Ronnie G. Stacy have filed for the McDowell County Commission race.

In Monroe County, Republican Kenny W. Mann and Republican Kevin A. Mann have filed for the county commission; Republican Sarah F. Martin filed for assessor and Democrat Justin R. St. Clair filed for prosecuting attorney. Republicans Michael Heller and Scott Miller have filed to run for sheriff.

In the nonpartisan race for Monroe County magistrate, Frank C. Basile has filed for Division 2 and Kevin L. Miller has filed for Division 1.

In the nonpartisan race for the Monroe County Board of Education, Sabrina Stutts and William "Bill" Miller have filed for the western district. Scott Womack and Sally Wallace have filed for the central district.

Democrat David O. Holz has filed to run for Monroe County Surveyor.

Carolyn Joy Miller has filed to run for the non-partisan post of Conservation District Supervisor.

On the state level, eight candidates have filed to run for governor. They were Republican Mac Warner, Republican Mitch Roberts, Democrat Stephen Williams, Republican Chris Miller, Republican Patrick Morrisey, Republican Moore Capito. Republican Kevin "KC" Christian and Mountain Party Chase Linko-Looper.

Incumbent Republican Chandler Swope of Bluefield filed for re-election in the Senate District 6 contest. Republican Craig A. Hart and Republican Eric Porterfield also filed. Democrat Randy Fowler has filed to run for the Senate District 6 seat.

Incumbent Republican Marty Gearheart of Bluefield also filed for re-election in the House of Delegates District 37 contest.

Incumbent Republican Joe Ellington Jr. has filed for re-election in the House of Delegates District 38 race.

Incumbent Republican Delegate Doug Smith filed has for re-election the House of Delegates District 39 contest.

In the U.S. Senate race, candidates who had filed include Democrat Glenn Elliot, Republican Jim Justice, Republican Zane Lawhorn, Republican Bryan McKinney, Republican Alexander X. Mooney, Republican Janet McNulty, Republican Bryan Bird, Republican Don Lindsay, Democrat Zachary Shrewsbury and Democrat Don Blankenship.

Democrats Jim Umberger and Chris Bob Reed filed in the U.S. House District 1 contest. U.S. Rep. Carol Miller, R-W.Va., the incumbent the U.S. House District 1 contest, has filed for reelection. Republican Derrick Evans has filed to run for U.S. House District District 1.

Mountain State voters also will be casting a ballot for president on May 14.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com