Weak Coal Country turnout
Final voter turnout figures from November’s General Election were released by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office a couple weeks ago. They show Morgan County was 8th among the 55 counties with a voter turnout of 61% — six percentage points higher than the state average.
That’s a good sign of Morgan Countians’ interest in local politics, since the active races for sheriff, county commissioner and assessor probably made the difference in bringing out voters.
The highest turnout in the state was in Pocahontas County with nearly 72%, and the lowest was Lincoln County with just under 39%. Since both also had contested local races, it’s unclear why the Lincoln turnout was so low. But if you check the turnout in other Southern West Virginia counties like Mingo, Logan, Boone and McDowell, you’ll see that they often had much lower turnouts than the Eastern Panhandle or the state average.
Could it be that there are bloated voting rolls there that don’t reflect the current population? Is it time for Mountain State politicians to accept the fact that they can’t necessarily count on the Coal Country vote to keep them in office?