MARTINSBURG, W.Va. (AP) — About 55 percent of West Virginia’s registered voters cast ballots during the 2012 general election, an improvement from the 2010 general election when the turnout was 44 percent.
But the 2012 turnout was lower than during the last presidential election in 2008, when 59 percent of registered voters cast ballots.
Figures from the Secretary of State’s Office show 685,099 of the state’s 1.2 million registered cast ballots during the November 2012 general election. The total includes 163,206 voters who cast early in-person or absentee ballots.
The Journal reports 71.8 percent of registered voters in Pocahontas County cast ballots, the highest percentage in the state. Lewis County was second with 70.3 percent, followed by Putnam County with 65.8 percent, Mineral County with 63.9 percent and Jefferson County with 62.8 percent.
McDowell County recorded the lowest percentage with 39.9 percent.
Kanawha County led the state in the number of ballots cast with 75,553. About 56 percent of registered voters in the state’s most populous county cast ballots.
Berkeley County, the state’s second-most populous county, recorded the second highest number of ballots cast with 37,769, about 55 percent of the county’s registered voters. Wood County was third with 34,563 ballots cast, followed by Cabell County with 33,343, and Monongalia County with 31,932.
A handful of polling places in several counties were relocated because of power outages caused by Superstorm Sandy.
Statewide, about 85.1 percent of residents 18 and older are registered to vote. Democrats outnumber Republicans in West Virginia by nearly 2-1.