The Parthenon

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Sec. of State: W.Va. breaks previous early voting records

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West Virginians have already smashed the voting numbers of the 2008 general election. With only 153,000 plus voters coming to vote in 2008’s general election, this year, early voting in West Virginia has already come out to be over 220,000 voters.

West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant’s office released a statement showing the numbers of early voting in all 55 counties. In the ten days allotted to West Virginia voters, 220,275 have voted already, and there are still 1,274,887 voters left in the state who could come out on Election Day.

West Virginia in both 2012 and 2014 came in last in percentage of electorates who voted. With the lowest voter turnout in the past two elections, it’s clear this election has had an effect on West Virginia voters.

This election has become one of the most polarizing elections in history, but, in that same sense, it has also gotten some of the most attention an election has ever gotten, especially when it comes to college students.

Civicyouth.org reported that West Virginia was also the lowest in voter turnout among ages 18-29, with a 23.6 percent turnout. In this election, National Public Radio released a graphic showing, “Number of Millennials eligible to vote now roughly equal to Boomers.”

The graph shows that millennials are now the second highest generation of eligible voters. This still means that they are only potential voters, but for West Virginia college students, this could be different.

West Virginia state schools allow any student, even out of state students, to register to vote in that county. This initiative was passed to try and bring up the voter turnout rating throughout the state.

This election could mean a lot for the state of West Virginia and what direction they will take for the next four years. If Trump is to win, he has promised the continuation of the coal industry and finding new jobs for those who may have lost them within the coal industry.

Clinton said she will try and find new forms of energy and  cleaner solutions than coal. This, for many voters, could mean the loss of jobs.

At the gubernatorial level, each candidate says they will support the coal industry, but for Democratic candidate Jim Justice, he made his name and fortune in the coal industry and has made it his main jobs maker.

On Wednesday, the country will have a new governor and a new president, and it is clear that all 55 counties are making sure their opinions are being heard.

Tom Jenkins can be contacted at [email protected]

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