Two days before election day and more than 4,000 votes have already been cast in Morgan County.
As of today, 1,481 citizens have voted by absentee ballots (out of 1,628 requested) and 2,598 voted early at the Morgan County Courthouse in Berkeley Springs.
That means 4,079 people have voted as of today – or 52 percent of the 7,795 citizens who voted in the 2016 general election, the last Presidential election.
Of the 1,481 absentee voters, 535 were Republicans (36 percent), 511 were Democrats (35 percent), 397 were No Party voters (27 percent) and 38 Other (2 percent).
Of the 2,598 early voters, 1,452 were Republicans (56 percent), 423 were Democrats (16 percent), 654 were No Party (25 percent), and 69 were Other (3 percent).
That means of the total 4,079 citizens who have voted so far, 1,987 are Republicans (48 percent), 934 are Democrats (23 percent), 1,051 were No Party (26 percent) and 107 were Other (3 percent).
That’s according to an analysis of voting data provided to Morgan County USA by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office.
Those percentages closely track the voter registration percentages in Morgan County.
There are 14,303 registered voters in Morgan County – 6,628 are Republicans (46 percent), 2,740 are Democrats (20 percent), 4,479 are No Party (31 percent) and 456 are Other (3 percent).
One of the hottest races in the Eastern Panhandle is House of Delegates District 59, where Republican Ken Reed is facing off against a conservative independent candidate Patricia Adams and Mountain Party candidate Robert E. Smith.
One indication of the intensity of that race is the number of absentee ballots submitted from that district — 1,805. No other House of Delegates race in the region — with the exception of House of Delegates District 67 (Jefferson County Democratic Delegate John Doyle against Republican Eliot Simon) — has more than that many absentee ballots submitted.
By comparison, the other Morgan County House of Delegates district — 58 — has only 1,372 absentee ballots submitted.
In the race for the 58th district seat, Republican George Miller, who upset Delegate Daryl Cowles in the primary, is facing off against Democrat Tom Harden. The local Republican establishment is putting up Democratic Harden yard signs next to their own.
In the House of Delegates 59th race, the independent Adams, riding the West Virginia Trump wave, is running an insurgent campaign from the right against the local pharmacy owner Republican Reed, and all indications are that Adams and Reed will split the conservative Republican and independent vote, leaving a possible avenue for Mountain Party candidate Robert E. Smith to slip through to the legislature. No Mountain Party candidate has ever been elected to the West Virginia state legislature. There is no Democrat in the race.
Adams is a close ally of Delegate Larry Kump (R-59) whom Reed defeated in the Republican primary earlier this year, 1,751 (57 percent) to 1,304 (43 percent).
In the 2018 Republican primary, Kump defeated Reed’s wife, Tally Reed, by a mere 34 votes — 987 (51 percent) to 953 (49 percent).
Adams has made a point of emphasizing that Ken Reed endorsed John Isner — the Democrat in the general election in 2018 — against Kump. Kump defeated Isner — 4,526 (62 percent) to 2,778 (38 percent.)
Election day is November 3. Voting at 13 precincts throughout the county is between 6:30 am and 7:30 pm.
(The thirteen voting precincts in Morgan County are: Warm Springs Middle (1), Warm Springs Middle (2), Warm Springs Intermediate, Widmyer Elementary, Berkeley Springs High School, Morgan County Courthouse, School Board, Great Cacapon Elementary, Paw Paw Elementary, Love Assembly of God, Pleasant View Elementary, South Morgan Fire Department and Cacapon State Park Bathhouse.)
Morgan County USA will be reporting live from the Morgan County Courthouse on Tuesday night beginning at 7:30 pm. Results will be posted at morgancountyusa.org as they are announced at the courthouse.