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Voting & Elections Toolkits

Voter Registration in West Virginia

Eligibility

  • Age: At least 17 and turning 18 before Election Day
  • Formerly incarcerated individuals: May vote if not in prison, not on parole, and not on probation.
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Residence: Must be a bona-fide resident of the West Virginia town in which you are voting
  • College students can either vote absentee in their home state or register to vote in WV
  • Check to see if you are already registered.

For more information, please visit the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

Deadline

  • Voter registration deadlines are determined by the date of the election, voters must be registered 21 days before date of election.
  • April 21, 2020 is the registration deadline for the 2020 primary election
  • October 13, 2020 is the deadline for in-person registration and postmark of mail-in registration for the general election.
  • Election Deadlines and Dates

Online registration

To use the online voter registration system you must have a current and valid driver’s license, learner’s permit or non-driver photo identification card issued by the West Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Online registration form

Mail-in registration

Printable forms

Refer to the box below for information about ID requirements.

Choosing a political party   

You may choose a political party affiliation when you register, but it is not required.  If you do not register with a political party you will not be able to vote in the primary election.

Updating registration      

To update registration after a move, name change, or change of political party affiliation, use the voter registration form.

Cancelling registration

To cancel your voter registration send a written, signed request to your county clerk.

County Clerk Directory

ID Requirements for West Virginia Voters

ID Requirements for Voting

All Voters

All voters must show a form of identification to vote in person during early voting or on election day in any location.  Any ID used must be valid and not expired

Non-Photo Identification accepted:

  • voter registration card
  • Medicare or social security card
  • birth certificate
  • WV hunting or fishing license
  • WV SNAP ID card
  • WV TANF program ID card
  • WV Medicaid ID Card
  • bank or debit card
  • utility bill or bank statements issued within six months of the date of election
  • health insurance card

Photo Identification accepted:

  • any document issued by the state of West Virginia or US government
  • driver's license issued by another state
  • student ID card
  • concealed carry permit

Three (3) exceptions to ID voter requirements

  • signed, sworn statement by an adult who has known the voter for 6 months or more
  • a poll worker knows the voter
  • residents of state care facilities

Source: West Virginia Secretary of State

Where to get an ID

Department of Motor Vehicles

Obtaining a Driver’s License

ID Requirements for Registration

Online Registration

For online voter registration, a West Virginia drivers license or state ID is required.

Mail-in Registration

An ID is not required for mail-in registration, but you must provide one of the documents listed on the form to verify residence:

  • valid photo identification
  • utility bill
  • bank statement
  • government check
  • paycheck
  • any other official document

If you cannot meet any of the above requirements, you may sign an affidavit and cast a provisional ballot subject to verification of your eligibility to vote.

Casting a Ballot in West Virginia

Important Dates

  • Primary Election: May 12, 2020
  • General Election: November 3, 2020
  • Early voting: October 21 - October 31, 2020

Absentee voting

Opening/closing dates

  • County clerks begin mailing ballots on the 46th day before the election
  • Ballots are to be returned to the county clerk as soon as possible.  Unless voter is military, ballot must be mailed and postmarked by Election Day and received by the Start of Canvass

Military voters and voters who reside outside the U.S.

  • Voters covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act, ballots must be received by county clerk by the start of canvass

For more information regarding Absentee Voting, please visit the West Virginia Secretary of State.

Who is eligible to use an absentee ballot?

In order to apply for and receive an absentee ballot, you must meet one of the following requirements:

  • injury or illness
  • disability or advanced age
  • incarceration or home detention (does not include individuals convicted of any felony, reason, or election bribery)
  • work hours or distance from county seat
  • inaccessible early voting site
  • personal or business travel
  • attendance at college
  • temporary residence outside of county
  • serving as an elected or appointed state or federal official

Application for Absentee Ballot

Polling places and hours

  • Use the Polling Place Locator to find your polling place.
  • For a general election or primary, polls in West Virginia are open 6:30 AM to 7:20 PM on election day
  • Time off to vote: West Virginia voters are entitled to time off work to vote.

Rides to the polls

Many organizations offer free rides to polling places. Some of these include:

  • Lyft provides free or discounted rides in some underserved communities
  • Political parties sometimes arrange rides for voters. Contact the local office:

Help for voters with disabilities

Ballots

 

Elections

Primaries vs. general elections

  • Primary elections are conducted to select each party’s candidates in the general election.
  • In West Virginia, a voter must be a member of a political party in order to vote in that party’s primary.
  • In a general election, voters are not required to have a party affiliation.

Jurisdiction

Offices/Measures That May Appear on the Ballot

Federal (even years)

President/Vice-President (elected every four years; next election in 2020)

Senator (elected every six years for staggered terms; next election in 2020)

Representative (elected every two years)

State (even years)

Governor/Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, State Treasurer, State Comptroller, Attorney General,  (elected every four years)

State Senator (elected every two years)

State Representative (elected every two years)

Statewide ballot measures

Commissioner of Agriculture

House of Delegates

Municipal (odd years)

School Board and other boards and commissions

Mayor or First Selectman

Town Clerk

Registrar of Voters

Tax Collector

Treasurer

Aldermen or Selectmen

Constable

Local ballot measures

Circuit Judge

 

For more information regarding Elections and Candidates, please visit the West Virginia Secretary of State.

Who are the candidates, and what else is on the ballot?

Important Dates

Election Day is November 3, 2020

Dates of municipal elections can be found under the heading "City and Town Elections."

Who conducts elections?

  • The West Virginia Secretary of State is the Chief Elections Officer of the State - responsible for policies and rules of West Virginia elections
  • Manuals,Training and Guidance for elections can be found through the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

Where to go with complaints about candidates or how elections are conducted

The "WV Secretary of State is responsible for ensuring fair, smooth and organized elections. 

To file a complaint if you believe anyone associated with the elections process is in violation of the law the form can be found here: https://sos.wv.gov/about/Pages/Investigations.aspx

Campaign finance

Campaign Finance Reporting System provides access to candidates’ election committee and Political Action Committee campaign finance filings

Additional information about campaign finance.

How to contact your elected officials:

Find your elected officials.

General Resources on Voting and Elections

General Resources on Voting and Elections


Hotlines


1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)

1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)

1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)


Voter Registration & Election Day Resources

Find useful voter information including:

  • Local Election Office and Contact Information
  • Address, Telephone and Email for Local Election Offices
  • Upcoming Federal Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Upcoming State Election Dates and Deadlines
  • Eligibility Requirements
  • Identification Requirements
  • Voter Materials Transmission Options
  • State Lookup Tools – Am I Registered? Where’s my Ballot?

Population-Specific information and Resources

Voting Rights: Laws, Cases, Policy

Voter Engagement

Voter Education

Campaign Finance/Funding Information

Primary Sources, Lesson Plans & Exhibits

Disclaimer

Librarians from the Government Documents Round Table (GODORT), a Round Table of the American Library Association (ALA), created these reference guides. These guides are intended for informational purposes only and are not in any way intended to be legal advice.

These guides are designated with a Creative Commons license and re-use and modification for educational purposes is encouraged.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.