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League of Women Voters

West Virginia Voting Guide

Registration Deadlines
In Person:
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
By Mail:
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
Election Dates:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election)
Secretary of State
State Capitol, Bldg 1, Suite 157-K
1900 Kanawha Blvd East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone:
304-558-6000
Fax:
304-558-0900

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to vote in West Virginia you must be:

  • A resident of West Virginia and the county where you register
  • A U.S. citizen
  • At least 17 years old and will be 18 years old by the next General Election
  • Not currently under conviction for a felony, including probation or parole, or a court ruling of mental incompetence

If you are currently serving any portion of a felony sentence, including probation and supervision, you are not currently elegible to vote. Once your felony sentence is complete and your rights have been restored your right to vote is also reinstated, but you must re-register before casting a ballot.

ID Needed for Voter Registration

If you register in person, you must bring proof of physical address. Examples include a driver's license, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or other government document.

If you are registering by mail, fill out the application and remember to submit a copy of a current and valid ID or bring proof of identification with you to the polls. Valid proof of ID include a photo ID, utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or any other official government document that shows your name a and address.

If you are registering online you must provide your name (as it appears on your WV ID or drivers license), your birthday, your WV ID or drivers license number and the last four digits of your Social Security Number. If you do not have a WV ID number or Social Security Number, you can still fill out the rest of the form online, print, and submit to your County Clerk by mail or in person.

First time West Virginia voters who have registered by mail and did not provide verification with application must show identification at the polls.

 

ID Needed for Voting?

If you registered by mail, you will have to take a current and valid photo ID or a copy of a current document with your updated name and address the first time you vote.

Registration Deadline

Not registered? Use our registration tool to fill out your application!

The registration deadline is 21 days before the election. You can now register to vote online! Fill out the forms found here to submit your registration application.

For more information contact your local board of elections.

Verify Voter Registration

To verify your voter registration you can use your state's resource or contact your local board of elections.

Absentee Ballot Process

Reasons for voting absentee - you are:

  • Attending school
  • Traveling outside the county for business or personal reasons
  • Injury, illness, physical disability or advanced age
  • Incarcerated or serving home confinement for misdemeanor, and legally registered to vote
  • Work hours and distance from county seat
  • Work assignment requires living temporarily outside the county (4 years or less)
  • Service as election or appointed or federal official requires living temporarily outside country

To download the absentee ballot application, use your state's resource. Your request for an absentee ballot must be received no later than the 6th day before the election. Unless you are voting absentee by mail because of illness or disability, the ballot must be mailed to an out-of-county address. You may apply as early as eighty-four days before the election, but the ballots are not ready for mailing to you until six weeks before the election.

Mailed ballots must be postmarked by Election Day and received no later than five days after Election Day in order to be counted. You can hand-deliver your ballot, but those must be received not later than the day before Election Day. You can track your ballot to see where it is in the process.

If you are a participant in the West Virginia Secretary of State's Address Confidentiality Program or you have a permanent, physical disability that prevents you from going to a polling place, you can apply for permannent absentee voting.

If you're in a hospital or other health care facility on Election Day or are a poll worker appointed to a precinct other than your own after Early Voting you can apply for emergency absentee voting. Some counties allow for emergency absentee voting in other situations, so be sure to check with your County Clerk for more information.

Overseas and Military Voters

You are a Military or Overseas voter if you are in uniformed services, living overseas OR a spouse or dependant of a uniformed services voter. To get registered and vote, you can utilize Overseas Vote Foundation.

If you have additional questions about elections and voting overseas you can use our state specific elections official directory or contact the Overseas Vote Foundation.

Early Voting

The County Clerk is responsible for early voting. The locations will be in the County Courthouse, annex or on the property of the courthouse. The regular period of early voting begins 13 days before the election and ends 3 days before the election. Voting is avaiable during regular business hours and on any Saturday on or between the 13th and 3rd days before the election.

Contact your county clerk for more information on times and locations.

Election Dates

The next election date is Tuesday, November 6, 2018 (General Election). The registration deadline is Tuesday, October 16, 2018.

Contact your local Board of Elections for information about local elections.

Poll Worker Information

In order to be a poll worker in West Virginia:

  • You must be 18 years of age by the time of the next election:
  • You must be a resident of West Virginia
  • You must be registered to vote in the county you reside in
  • You must complete required training

You will be entitled to compensation

To sign up, contact your local board of elections.

Polling Place Hours

The polling place will be open from 6:30 am to 7:30 pm.

Time Off To Vote

West Virginia law states that private and public employers must give employees time off to vote, unless the employee has 3 hours nonworking time available to vote or the employee fails to vote.

Polling Place Locator

You can find your polling place by utilizing your state resource.

If you have further questions on your polling place location, please contact your county clerk.

Provisional Voting

If there is a question about your eligibility to vote in an election, you may vote a provisional ballot. You might vote a provisional ballot if:

  • Your registration record is not available at the time of the election
  • Your signature in the poll book does not match the signature on the registration record
  • The registration record indicates any other legal disqualifications

The canvassing board will review the information associated with the ballot and will determine whether or not your vote can be counted. Your ballot will not be opened on election night. To check on the status of your provisional ballot, please use your state's tool.

Voting Machines

The voting systems used in West Virginia are Optical Scan, AutoMARK, Paper Ballots and DRE.

Optical Scan: An optical scan ballot is a specially designed paper ballot which is marked by the voter with a special pencil, then tallied by a computer reader. The layout is very similar to the standardized tests given in school, the voter darkens an oval next to a candidate's name in order to enter a vote.

AutoMARK:This voting system actually uses the Optical Scan ballot. The voter inserts the ballot into the machine and uses the AutoMARK touch screen to make his/her choices; when the voter is finished, the unit then marks the ballot for the voter and the voter retrieves his/her ballot and places it in a ballot box.

Paper Ballots: Paper Ballots are still marked with an x to select the preferred candidate and then counted at the polling place by a team of five election officials called a Counting Board.

Direct Recording Electronic (DRE): This is the newest kind of system in use in the U.S. All the information about who and what you are voting for is on an electronic screen like a TV or computer screen.

There are many variations of DREs because lots of companies are inventing new ones, and many cities, counties and states are trying them out. Usually, after you have signed in, the poll workers will give you a card that you slide into a device to start your voting session.

Some of these devices will show all of the candidates and ballot choices on one big screen. Often, with these big screen devices you push a button next to the name of the candidate you want to vote for (or yes or no on a ballot measure). On other DREs, the screen is set up to show pages. On each screen or page, there will probably be one thing to vote on. For example, on one screen or page, you might vote for president. Then you might move to the next page to vote for senator. Often these small-screen devices have a touch screen, where you touch the screen next to the name of the person you want to vote for. Other devices have a key pad. And some have a keyboard, so you can write in the name of someone you want to vote for. You let the system know you are finished voting by pushing a button, touching the screen or entering something on a keypad.

You can learn more about voting systems by checking out the Elections Assistance Commission's (EAC) resource.

Candidate and Ballot Measure Information

Information on local, state and federal candidates and ballot measures may be available here.

To see a list of available races, visit the race index.

Provisions for Voters with Disabilities

If your health or disability does not permit you to go to the polls, you may get a mail in ballot. Be sure to apply early enough so that your application reaches the clerk at least six days before the election. If you are permanently unable to go to the polls, you may apply to be placed on the permanent absentee voting list to vote by mail. A doctor's statement must be filed with your application, but once approved, the clerk will automatically send you an absentee ballot before each election.

You can also utilize the American Association of People With Disabilities (AAPD) resource.

Campaign Finance Information

For information on federal campaign contributions, please visit Open Secrets.

For information on state campaign contributions, please visit your state's resource.


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Election Day Problems?

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