CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- More than 33,000 West Virginians already have cast ballots for the Nov. 6 general election, and Secretary of State Natalie Tennant says another 7,500 absentee ballots already have been returned.More than 17,700 ballots had been cast by Democrats as of Thursday, while slightly more than 11,000 were by Republicans. The remaining votes were cast by independent, unaffiliated and minor-party voters.Early voting began Wednesday and continues through 5 p.m. on Nov. 3. Polls will be open on Saturdays to encourage turnout.In 2008, more than 153,000 people cast early ballots for the general election. The secretary of state's office
said that was almost 22 percent of all votes cast, and it helped lift overall turnout to 58.7 percent.