By Liz Beavers
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER – West Virginia voters will be going to the polls Saturday, Aug. 28, to choose which names will be on the November general election ballot for the seat held for nine terms by the late Sen. Robert C. Byrd.
Three Democrats, 10 Republicans and one member of the Mountain Party are each hoping to receive enough votes of confidence from the state's voters to be able to proceed to the general election.
In Mineral County, interest in the election has already been high, with a total of 322 turning out for early voting, a five-day period which ended on Wednesday.
According to County Clerk Lauren Ellifritz, of that total, 167 were Republicans and 155 were Democrats.
All of the county's precincts will be open for Saturday's special election, although Patterson Creek voters who normally cast their ballots at the community building will be directed to go to the fire hall today.
Each polling place will have an Ivotronic voting machine available, along with the regular paper ballots.
Polling places will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Ellifritz expects to be able to begin counting the ballots at the courthouse immediately after the polls close.
Candidates include:
Democratic Party: Ken Hechler of Charleston, Sheiri Fletcher of Dellslow, and Gov. Joe Manchin III from Fairmont.
Republican Party: Thomas Ressler of Falling Waters, Harry C. Bruner Jr. of Charleston, Frank Kubric of Charles Town, John R. Raese of Morgantown, Daniel Rebich of Buckhannon, Kenneth A. Culp of Summersville, Albert Howard of San Pedro, Calif., Lynette Kennedy McQuain of Rivesville, Scott H. Williams of Buckhannon, and Mac Warner of Morgantown.
Mountain Party: Jess Johnson of Pinch.