Satellite Voting Let's make every vote count!

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A money crunch may deter some counties from enjoying the added convenience of satellite voting.

This year, West Virginia lawmakers passed a law allowing counties to establish early voting at locations throughout the state. However, no money was appropriated, so counties have to pay for it.

The upside of the dilemma is an increase in voter interest and participation. Early voting has steadily grown in popularity with nearly 154,000 voters casting their ballots early last year. That’s a 22 percent increase over previous years.

It’s encouraging to see more people becoming actively involved in the political process. There’s been an increase in the number of registered voters, and statistics show a healthy crop of new voters who reached the legal age by the last election.
Satellite Voting encourages wider participation
It would be a shame to see a snafu that could stem the tide. About a dozen of the 55 counties are interested in adding early voting locations in time for the May 2010 primary.

Electronic touch screen voting machines would cost about $25,000 per location, a cost that can be prohibitive for smaller counties and those facing other budget woes.
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The Secretary of State gathered public comment on the proposed satellite precinct rule until July 20. Once the final rule is set, counties interested in setting up satellite voting can start moving ahead along with finding the money to do so.

We hope the counties who need help will find a way to make early voting available. The capability of voting early is more than a convenience. It’s an added way to encourage wider participation in the voting process. The more people who have a say in who gets elected to public office, the better. That’s the way a healthy democracy works.

Now is the time to make your voices heard in another way. To learn more about how you can help or to become involved, visit the Secretary of State’s office at

— The Register-Herald

This editorial does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Times West Virginian editorial board or AnestaWeb, Inc.