POINT PLEASANT — With the May 10 primary inching ever closer, questions about voting options for registered independents are being clarified by Mason County Clerk Diana Cromley.
Cromley said the questions have arisen, in part, due to a statewide trend of voters changing their politics to “independent” or “nonpartisan” in the last year. With this change has come some confusion among these specific voters regarding the ballots they are eligible to receive in a primary election.
“The misconception seems to be that independent/nonpartisan voters will receive a ballot with a mix of Democrat and Republican candidates, as well as nonpartisan candidates for all offices on the ballot in the May election,” Cromley said. “However, in West Virginia, any person registered as an independent, nonpartisan or with any minor political party (parties other than Democrat, Republican, Mountain or Libertarian), may receive only a nonpartisan ballot which contains races for positions such as judge, board of education and issues — unless they (the voter) personally ask the poll worker for either a Democrat or Republican ballot.”
If the voter requests a specific party ballot, they will receive it but poll workers are not permitted to ask voters if they want to exercise that option — this decision and request is completely up to the voter. If no request is made, the voter will automatically receive a ballot with only nonpartisan races. If a voter requests a Republican ballot, they will only be able to vote for those on the GOP ticket, not a mixture of both GOP and Democrat candidates and vice versa.
Other important primary-related dates to remember are: Tuesday, April 19, last day to register to vote in the primary; April 27 to May 7 are the dates for early voting.
Cromley said anyone with further questions about these issues should feel free to call her office at 304-675-1997.
Reach Beth Sergent at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BSergentWrites.