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West Virginia Voting Quick Facts

Who Can Register to vote in West Virginia

Please register only if you are an eligible West Virginia resident. If you reside in another state, use USA.gov to find links to your home states registration information. Voter registration before an election closes on the twenty-first day before the election or on the first day thereafter which is not a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday.

As stated by West Virginia Code, you are eligible to vote in West Virginia if you are:

  • A resident of West Virginia and the county in which you register.
  • A U.S. Citizen.
  • At least 17 years old, and 18 before the next General Election. (Seventeen year olds may register and vote in primary elections, if they turn 18 by the next General Election.)
  • Not currently under conviction for a felony, including probation or parole, or a court ruling of mental incompetence. Voting rights are restored when the term of conviction ends.

Learn more about Who Can Register To Vote In West Virginia?

How Do I Register To Vote in West Virginia

Voting At The Polls On Election Day

WHAT IS AN ACCEPTABLE FORM OF IDENTIFICATION FOR VOTING

What Happens at the Polling Place?

  • You will check in with the poll workers at the registration table (there may be a line).
  • The poll worker will ask you to state your name and address, and they will search their list of registered voters for your name.

- If you are a first-time voter, the poll workers may ask for your identification. What documents are accepted?

If you are registering to vote for the first time in West Virginia or your county, and you have not voted in a federal election in this state, you must show a valid ID with your application or the first time you vote. If you mail your application, you may send a copy of a valid ID. We accept the following documents that show your current name and address:

  • Valid photo identification
  • Utility bill
  • Bank statement
  • Government check
  • Paycheck
  • Any other official government document

The poll worker will show your name and address on the list of voters. He or she will then ask you to verify your information and sign. If your name or address has changed, you may update this information. If you have moved outside of your precinct but in the same county, you should call the County Clerk's Office to find out your new polling place. Your vote may not count if you vote in the wrong polling place on Election Day.

poll worker will take you to the voting booth where you will vote your ballot. Different counties have different methods of voting: learn about your counties voting system.

Learn more about Voting at the Polls on Election Day

Who Can Vote in Primary Elections in West Virginia

Both Democrats and Republicans hold Semi-closed Primaries

All parties allow any voter who is not registered with an official party to request their ballot for the Primary Election.

Click here for additional information

Who Can Vote Absentee in West Virginia

1. Determine your eligibility:

  • I am attending school.
  • I am traveling outside of my county for business or personal reasons.
  • An injury, illness, physical disability, or advanced age prevents me from accessing my polling place.
  • I am incarcerated or serving home confinement for a misdemeanor, and I am legally registered to vote.
  • My work hours and distance from the county seat make voting in person impossible.
  • A work assignment requires me to temporarily live outside of my county (four years or less).
  • Service as an elected or appointed state or federal official requires me to temporarily live outside of my county.

Note: If you are a member of uniformed services, a spouse or dependent thereof, or an overseas voter, you shoul d visit our Military and Overseas Voter's site to learn about your absentee voting opportunities.

2. Apply to your County Clerk:

  • You may apply to receive and absentee ballot starting the 84th day before an election, and your county clerk must receive your application by the sixth day before the election.

3. Vote your absentee ballot

  • Your County Clerk will begin mailing ballots the 46th day before the election. Once you receive your absentee ballot from your County Clerk, vote and return it soon as possible. Unless you are a military or overseas voter, you must mail your ballot or return it to the County Clerk's office (no person may deliver more than two voters' absentee ballots).
  • Deadlines: Mailed ballots should be postmarked by Election Day and received by the start of canvass (five days after the election, excluding Sundays). Hand-delivered ballots must be received by the day before the election. You may download instructions for voting your ballot below.

Learn more about Voting By Absentee Ballot In West Virginia

What If My Address Has Changed

College Students

  • At School. Students can establish residency in West Virginia if they have a present intent to remain at their West Virginia school address for the time being, and they intend to make it their principal home.[11] Any other interpretation of the residency laws is unconstitutional. Voting in West Virginia may be a declaration of residency, potentially making you subject to other laws that govern state residents. For example, registering to vote in West Virginia makes you a resident for the purposes of motor vehicle registration. [12] If you drive a car within the state, you have 30 days to register that vehicle.[13]
  • At Home. Students who lived in West Virginia before moving elsewhere to attend school, and who wish to establish or keep their West Virginia voting residency (i.e., at their parents’ West Virginia address), should have no problem doing so unless they have already registered to vote in another state. If you are out of the county because you are attending a college, university, or other place of education or training you may vote in West Virginia by absentee ballot[14].
  • While registering to vote in another state is not automatically considered an abandonment of your West Virginia residency, some judges or officials might view it as such. If you have established residency in another state and are moving back to West Virginia with the intent to reside here, you will have to follow the normal registration procedures to re-register in West Virginia.

Movers

  • If you moved to West Virginia from another state, you must register to vote in West Virginia to be able to vote.[1] The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is twenty-one days before the election.[2]
  • If you moved from out of state, you may register to vote the same day you become a resident of the State of West Virginia. And, under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[3]
  • If you moved to a new address within the same county, you may file a request for change of address by completing and signing a change of address form.[4] You can do this on Election Day.[5] If you moved to a new address in a different county, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[6] That form is available here:http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/historyresource/Documents/wvvoterregistr...

Learn more about Movers/college students Voting

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When Is The Next Election?

Upcoming Elections Calendar - Election dates and deadlines - Check West Virginia upcoming elections schedule

Poll Hours: 6:30 AM-7:30 PM

Please note that polls are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM on Election Day. In emergency situations, your polling location may change.

How can I find my polling location?

If you do not know where your polling place is, you can use apps.sos.wv.gov to find your polling place.If you have any issues or questions, please contact your County Clerk. Please note polls are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM on Election Day.

Can I Register At The Polls On Election Day?

NO: West Virginia does not provide Same Day Voter Registration. You must register to vote by the voter registration deadline in order to vote in an election. If you miss the voter registration deadline for an election you should contact your local election office.

Can I Take Time Off For Voting? Yes

You can request up to 3 hours off from your employer, without taking leave or a deduction of pay, if you do not have at least 3 hours before or after work that you can go to the polls to vote. This request must be made in writing and be given to your employer at least 3 days prior to election day. If you have time before or after work to go to the polls to vote, this provision does not apply to you.

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