MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — They’ve been processing one voter every 25 seconds using two lines with 15 machines running during early voting in Berkeley County.

“Record Turnout.  Between early voting and absentee ballots, we have already surpassed the amount of ballots cast in any previous presidential election,”   Berkeley County Director of Elections Darrell Shull said. 

As of close of business Monday, they had processed 11.400 ballots out of approximately 83,000 registered, eligible voters.

Between early in-person voting and the returning of absentee ballots, 14 percent of Berkeley County’s registered voters have cast their ballots.

“As of 5 p.m. yesterday, we’d had 5,150 early voters.   Yesterday was the busiest day at 1,158.  We expect today to be busy as well.  We’ve had 6,241 absentee ballots returned.  There’s another 3-and-a-half-thousand absentee ballots that have been sent to voters.  We’re  waiting on those to come in,” Shull said.

There is an early morning surge, he said, with a wait time of about an hour and a half, but that tapers off as they day progresses.

For early voting, there is a singular location – the voter registration office on West Stephen Street.   Shull says if you are in line by 5:00, you will still be allowed to vote.  He says they have gotten all the voters in line processed by 6 p.m. at the latest.

Shull says they are fast tracking folks with mobility issues.  He says those with handicapped permits and those returning absentee ballots do not have to wait in line. 

He encourages voters to dress for the weather and bring an umbrella later this week.

Early voting continues in West Virginia through Saturday.

Story by Panhandle News Network’s Marsha  Chwalik