(04/29/2008)
Interest in West Virginia's May 13 primary has helped push its number of state-wide registered voters to a record-high 1.18 million.

Calhoun's County Clerk Richard Kirby says registration has stayed about the same in the county.

A total of 5,439 are registered to vote, 3,490 Democrats and 1,228 Republicans. The rest represent independent or other party registration.

The increased state registration mostly reflects efforts by the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton campaigns as they battle for every last Democratic convention delegate.

But the continuing rise in unaffiliated voters also accounts for the increase. For the first time, the Democrats are opening their primary to these voters.

The numbers also suggest that some Republicans have temporarily defected to cast ballots in the Democratic primary.

Besides a chance to meddle in the Obama-Clinton battle, there aren't many contested races on the GOP primary ballot.

The registered voters include 665,234 Democrats, 347,760 Republicans and 156,199 who are unaffiliated.

The previous high was 1.17 million in 1952, when the state's overall population peaked above 2 million.


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