FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WVNS) — West Virginia saw record high voter turnout in the 2020 general election. As primary season ramps up ahead of the midterm elections, will those numbers stay the same?

“Who sits in our local offices, local government, who serves in those positions is really important and it is our rights as a voter to choose who sits in those seats,”

Fayette County Clerk Michelle Holly

That’s the message Holly is sending out to voters ahead of the West Virginia primaries.

Voter turnout for midterm elections is typically less than when Presidential candidates are on the ballot. Fayette County saw just under 5,000 more voters in the 2020 General Election when compared to 2018, following a national pattern.

Despite record numbers in 2020 with 17,000 people casting their vote, Holly believes the 2022 midterm elections will follow that same pattern. But, there’s hope for more active voters with a bigger spotlight on this year’s elections following a months-long redistricting process and higher numbers of voter registration.

“This redistricting process as a whole has engaged some more people because we have had so many changes in the county about where people will go to vote and we have engaged in that way with the voters. Just letting them know that there is an election and here is your registration information so hopefully that will help.”

Fayette County Clerk Michelle Holly

Holly said the majority of voters trend between the ages of 35 to 45 followed by people 65 and older. The county actively registers younger voters in the high schools, but they are less likely to consistently head to the polls.

Holly said an average midterm primary only sees 20 to 25 percent of registered voters participating.

In the 2018 general election, Democrats made up 50 percent of total voters, followed by 30 percent Republicans. In the 2020 General, we saw a similar pattern with 44 percent of total voters registered Democrats and 34 percent registered Republicans.

Despite low expectations, she hopes for a higher turnout with races for magistrate, board of education and county executive committees being decided on May 10, 2022.

“We will probably have more older voters, those tend to be our more steady voters. I would love to see more young people come out and make some choices, especially on those races which will not be on the ballot in November, they will be decided in about a month that can really affect their lives in different ways.”

Fayette County Clerk Michelle Holly

The results of active voter outreach and more attention on the election is yet to be seen. Voters can check their voter registration and polling locations with their county clerk’s office.