MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The Monongalia County Clerk’s Office is accepting applications for absentee ballots and is ready to start training poll workers for the 2024 primary election.

County Clerk Carye Blaney announced that the absentee ballot application period is underway ahead of the acceptance of poll worker applications scheduled over the next several months. This will be the first election involving nationwide races hosted by the county since the state redistricting in 2021, and voters who haven’t voted since the 2020 election are asked to update their voter information if they plan to vote either in person or by absentee ballot ahead of the election on May 14.

“Right now we are accepting absentee ballot applications, so any of our voters in the county who are of advanced age, or may have mobility issues, or are confined to their home may apply,” said Blaney.

Absentee ballot provisions that were relaxed due to the COVID-19 pandemic have returned to pre-pandemic requirements in order for one to be cast in Monongalia County. Any voter applying for an absentee ballot will be required to provide a reason that shows you’ll be out of the state from the time early voting begins for the 2024 primary election on May 1 until election day, or you’re incapable of being able to vote in-person. Approved voters will receive an absentee ballot, which will be accepted up until the postmark of May 20.

“Most of the excused reasons are, you’re either going to be out of town during the period of early voting and election day,” said Blaney. “Or you may be a student going to school in another state, or you are of advanced age,” she said.

Poll worker applications are expected to begin rolling into the Monongalia County Clerk’s Office in February and March ahead of the training schedule for April 15. In anticipation of an increase in voters during the 2024 election cycle, Blaney reported that they plan to have two dozen polling locations across the county that will require close to two hundred poll workers to operate early voting and election day smoothly. This will also maintain the timely and accurate results that have become commonplace for the County Clerk’s Office. While veteran poll workers are expected to return, several spots are expected to be open for those who want to apply.

“We operate 43 precincts in the county after we completed our most recent redistricting,” said Blaney. “We will have those in about 24 locations, so it will take approximately 180–190 poll workers,” she said.

Once poll workers are finished with mandated training, public testing for early voting and election day machines will take place on April 24 at the Monongalia County Election Center at the Mountaineer Mall. Early voting will take place from May 1 until May 11, every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except for Sunday. As the 2024 primary election inches closer, the Monongalia County Clerk’s Office is already making preparations for what is expected to be a busy day.

“We plan, and we work for months,” said Blaney. “Even though it’s what we call an off-year, we’re still working behind the scenes, making sure we’re improving our process,” she said.