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Early voting numbers roll in

Oct. 30, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

HUNTINGTON -- Nearly 5,200 people from Cabell and Wayne counties have cast ballots since early voting began in West Virginia last Wednesday, officials said Monday.

The breakdown in Cabell County includes 2,181 Democrats, 1,500 Republicans, 4 Mountain Party, 374 with no party affiliation and 24 "other" for a total of 4,083.

In Wayne County, there have been 689 Democrats, 295 Republicans, 99 with no party affiliation and 3 other for a total of 1,086.

Totals for surrounding counties include 3,217 in Putnam County, 1,380 in Mason County, 839 in Logan County and 798 in Lincoln County.

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is advising voters not to risk their safety to make it to an early voting location during this week's high winds, rain and snow.

"If you don't have to go out, stay inside and make sure you are ready for this storm," Tennant said. "Please do not go out and risk your safety to try to make it to an early voting location. There are several more days of early voting and even Election Day, which is next Tuesday."

According to a press release issued Monday, the Secretary of State's office is working with county clerks to develop contingency plans for early voting locations in the event power is lost or if other emergencies occur.

Early voting has become increasingly popular in West Virginia, according to Tennant, who has predicted a strong turnout this year. In 2008, more than 153,000 people cast early ballots for the general elections, accounting for almost 22 percent of all votes cast for a 58.7 percent overall turnout.

Early voting continues through 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3.