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A Pandemic Voter’s Guide For West Virginia

Absentee Ballot, Voting, Mail-In Ballot, Mail-In, Election
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The coronavirus pandemic has forced elections officials to expand options for voters in November’s general election. This means you will have more ways to vote, including mail-in ballots and early in-person voting. But it also means many people have questions about how to vote. Here are answers to some common questions about voter registration, voting by mail, and early voting in person.

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REGISTRATION

How do I know if I’m registered?

You can check your registration status with the Secretary of State online.

How do I register to vote?

You can register online, by mail, or by visiting your county clerk’s office. You’ll have to provide a West Virginia driver’s license or ID card number, the last four digits of your Social Security number and your date of birth.

What’s the deadline for registration?

West Virginia’s registration deadline is October 13th.

EARLY VOTING IN PERSON

What are my options for early voting in person?

Early in-person voting in West Virginia begins on October 21st and ends on October 31st.

Where do I vote early — is it the same as my usual polling place?

Early voting locations are at a county courthouse, annex, or designated community location. You can find your polling place here. Be sure to check with your county clerks for times when polls will be open.

ONLINE TOOLS FOR EARLY VOTING

Click here to find your early voting location.

VOTE BY MAIL

Am I eligible to vote by mail?

All voters can apply to vote absentee in the upcoming general election because of “medical reasons”. Additional eligibility requirements can be found here. The last day to request an absentee ballot is October 28th.

How do I request a ballot to mail in? What is the deadline?

You can request an absentee ballot online through West Virginia’s application portal. You can also print an absentee ballot application here, and return it to your county clerk.

What are my options for returning the ballot — do I have to mail it?

West Virginia voters can return their ballots by mail or hand deliver them to their county clerk office. If it is your first-time voting absentee in the state, you must send a copy of valid ID with your ballot. A form of valid ID could be a utility bill, bank statement, photo ID, government check, or paycheck.

What is the deadline for returning my ballot?

The county clerks must have absentee ballots by November 2nd or postmarked by Election Day and received by county clerks by November 9th.

ONLINE TOOLS FOR ABSENTEE BALLOTS

If you want to visit West Virginia’s absentee application portal, click here.

If you have additional questions about absentee voting in West Virginia, you can find many answers here.

Click here to fill out an absentee ballot application.

IN-PERSON VOTING ON ELECTION DAY

Where do I go to vote? Has my polling location changed?

West Virginia will have all polling locations open. You can find your polling location here.

Will I need identification?

West Virginia voters will need to have a valid form of identification to vote in-person on election day. It can be a photo ID like a driver’s license or college ID or it can be a non-photo ID like a voter registration card or Social Security card. Click here to see a full list of accepted identification.

How long will polling sites be open?

Polling locations will be open at 6:30 am and close at 7:30 pm on Election Day.

RESOURCES

Click here to visit the West Virginia Secretary of State’s website. For a fun take on election questions, comedian Stephen Colbert has this “Better Know a Ballot” segment on voting in West Virginia. And keep sending us your questions! If you are unsure of something or have concerns, then others probably do, too. Use the form below and we'll try our best to get an answer.

This story is part of “America Amplified, Election 2020,” a public media initiative using community engagement to inform and strengthen local, regional and national journalism. America Amplified is funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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