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Midterm election discussed during Brown Bag Luncheon

By Staff | Oct 26, 2018

LWV-JCWV Observer Eleanor Finn speaks about the importance of voter participation in the midterm election during the Brown Bag Luncheon at Trinity Episcopal Church on Friday. Photo by Tabitha Johnston.

SHEPHERDSTOWN — The League of Women Voters of Jefferson County encourages the community to participate in voting and political education throughout the year. With the midterm elections happening this Tuesday, LWV-JCWV has been busier than ever over the last couple of months, with a variety of events discussing the importance of voting and understanding current political issues.

On Friday, LWV-JCWV Observer Eleanor Finn spoke about the election to members of Shepherdstown Area Independent Living during the group’s monthly Brown Bag Luncheon at Trinity Episcopal Church.

“Many of you may have previously voted in Shepherdstown at the fire house. this year, it is being moved to Asbury United Methodist Church. Regular election day voting at your precinct is from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.,” Finn said, mentioning this is the second time in recent years when local voting has taken place at this location.

According to Finn, the county’s new voting machines may make the voting process easier in the long run, but for those who are concerned about using the new technology, she encouraged to watch an online demonstration video before going to the polls.

“They have new voting machines, and the county clerk’s website has a video online to watch, if you’d like to refresh yourself on how to vote that way,” Finn said, before briefly discussing why voting in this election is important for West Virginia voters, and how voters can be prepared to make wise voting decisions.

“There are a couple things you might want to think about when electing judges — whether they have been a judge before, what their experience is, if they represent our region of the state,” Finn said, referring to the election of two justices to Division One and Division Two of the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.

Finn noted that, although the LWV-JCWV does not endorse candidates, as it is a nonpartisan organization, only one candidate on the general election ballot is likely to make decisions with the Eastern Panhandle in mind.

“There are ten candidates running, but there is only one candidate from the Eastern Panhandle on the ballot, Chris Wilkes, who lives in Martinsburg,” Finn said. “It may be a good idea to focus on voting for him, and voting for diversity in this way.”

According to Finn, community members should also be informed on the meanings of the two amendments to the state constitution, before voting “for” or “against” them.

“There are two amendments that we are dealing with. Amendment one is purposefully written in a confusing fashion,” Finn said, advising voters to read the amendment carefully to avoid accidentally voting incorrectly. “The second amendment is a suggestion that the state legislature should have some oversight over governmental spending. We’re all aware of the West Virginia Supreme Court’s overspending situation, and this amendment will help to prevent overspending in the future.”

To learn how to use the new voting machines, visit jeffersoncountywv.org, click on “county government,” click on “county clerk” and then click on “voter registration/elections.”