West Virginia Primary: Five Things to Know
West Virginia voters will cast primary election ballots today to set the November slate for a U.S. Senate seat, three congressional districts, the entire state House of Delegates, half of the state Senate and many local races.
Here are five things to know about election day in the state:
1. Tight GOP Race for Congress
Seven Republicans are vying for the seat filled by GOP U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who is leaving the post to run for Senate. Alex Mooney, Ken Reed, Charlotte Lane and Ron Walters have each spent more than $125,000 before Tuesday's election. Democrat Nick Casey is is up against state House Delegate Meshea Poore.
2. Few Statehouse Contests
All 100 seats in the state House of Delegates and 17 of the 34 in the Senate are on the midterm ballot. Only four Senate districts feature contested primaries, however. In the House, where Republicans seek control for the first time in 85 years, fewer than half of the 67 districts include primary contests.
3. Presumed Wins in the U.S. Senate, House
Capito and her likely opponent, Democratic Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, are expected to win their party primaries for the U.S. Senate easily Tuesday. The outcome of their presumed November election for retiring Democrat Jay Rockefeller's seat could influence control in the Democratic U.S. Senate. U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall is expected to win his re-election primary contest and face Republican Evan Jenkins in a high-profile November race.
4. Low Turnout Expected
Voters typically don't turn out in droves in non-presidential election years, and participation is even lower in primaries. In the 2010 midterm primary, only 24 percent of registered voters cast ballots. The 2012 presidential primary year produced a 28 percent turnout, while the 2008 primary yielded 43 percent. However, about 45,500 people voted early and 2,300 voted on absentee ballots, which the Secretary of State's office called a state midterm primary election record.
5. At the Polls
Voting stations are open today from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Forecasts call for a 30 percent chance of rain and temperatures in the high 80s. Voters can find their polling place on the secretary of state's website.