CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The 10-day early voting period for the May 14th Primary Election in West Virginia got underway Wednesday.

Charleston voters Troy Giatras and Matt Stonestreet make it a tradition to vote early each election year and did so at the Kanawha County Voter’s Registration Office on Quarrier Street.

“The two of us have been voting together for about 12 years now,” said Giatras.

“We’re voting buddies even though we’re not in the same political party,” Stonestreet added.

Down the street, members of AARP-WV held a “honk and wave” event to encourage voters to head to the polls. The non-profit works to improve the lives of West Virginians 50 and older.

“We’re reminding people to vote. We’re reminding people that are 50+ voters that their voices should be heard and we’re asking them to honk in support,” Marks said holding a big sign in bold red letters that said “VOTE!”

Marks is also reminding candidates to listen to West Virginia’s older population.

“People age 50+ are the large majority of voters here in West Virginia,” she said. “This is a great way to fulfill one of our most fundamental rights. We can facilitate change if we want change but it’s also a way to stay the course if that’s what we prefer.”

Secretary of State Mac Warner said early voting got off to a smooth start statewide Wednesday morning. He said there are plenty of opportunities to get out and vote.

Ballots can be cast at county clerk’s office as well as other sites. A full list of voting locations is listed at

“One of the advantages of voting early is that you can go to any of those early voting locations and cast your ballot. On Election Day, you have to go to your specific precinct,” Warner said on Wednesday’s “580 Live” with Dave Allen heard on MetroNews flagship station 580-WCHS in Charleston.

Giatras said it’s better to cast his ballot before Election Day when he knows he has the time.

“We have work we’re going to do, and we don’t know if we’ll be around possibly on Election Day, so we want to make sure we get it done when we’re here,” he said. “It’s best to do it early. We know who we want to vote for. It’s our constitutional right. We want to exercise it quickly,” he said.

Stonestreet said not only is it an important year for the election of the next president and governor, but there are also many local races in Kanawha County he’s watching too. He said he also can’t ignore what’s happening overseas.

“It’s obviously a very turbulent time internationally and I just think it’s important to get out and vote,” he said.

The early voting period runs through May 11.