West Virginia Elections

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Breaking: 7th Circuit Refuses En Banc in Both WI #VoterID Cases; No More Changes Unless #SCOTUS Intervenes
08/26/16 |
Publication Date: 
Friday, August 26, 2016 - 13:30

A unanimous 7th Circuit issued this order en banc refusing to place the affidavit requirement to soften voter id back into effect at this point, and rejecting the other cross appeals. This would leave only the Supreme Court as a place to go to appeal, and relief there seems quite unlikely ...

The reason the 7th Circuit was unanimous, and did not split badly as it did in the first round of the Frank v. Walker litigation (when the Court split 5-5 over the facial unconstitutionality of Wisconsin’s voter id law), is that thanks to the One Wisconsin Now litigation, for the upcoming election, Wisconsin is going to make it easy for people to get a temporary id from the DMV

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Voting as a Student

As a student, you have a constitutional right to register and vote in the place you truly consider to be “home” — whether that’s your parents’ house, your apartment, or your dorm room. But before you make the important decision about where to vote, make sure you know the voting rules (and sometimes consequences) of registering to vote in that state.

More Info On Student Voting

West Virginia Election Info

Upcoming Elections in Your State

2016 General Election: Tuesday, November 8

  • Voter Registration Deadline: October 18

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

Please note that the information in the sections below has not been updated, and refers to the 2015 general election.

Election Day:  6:30 AM to 7:30 PM

The regular period of Early Voting begins thirteen days before the election and continues until three days before the election.  Voting is available during regular business hours, plus, it is also available on any Saturday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM on or between the thirteenth and third days before the election.  Check with the County Clerk's Office for more information or on the West Virginia Secretary of State website.

For Election Day

Use online Poll Locator.

For Early Voting

The location will be in the County Courthouse, annex, or on the property of the courthouse.

Please contact your County Clerk's Office to find out the location and times in your county.


Already registered? Verify your voter registration status.

Registration Deadlines

To be eligible to vote in an election, you must register to vote 21 days before the specific election.  If you are registering in person, either at your town clerk's office or at another agency that does voter registration, you must do it by this day.  If you are mailing in your application, you must postmark it by the dates listed above (mail-in application).

How to Check if You Are Registered

You can check to see if you are registered here.

For assistance, please call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (1-866-687-8683) or contact your County Clerk’s office.

How to Register

The West Virginia Voter Registration Application is available here. Follow these steps to complete and submit the form:

  1. In the appropriate area on the application, indicate whether you are submitting a new registration, updating your address, or changing your party affiliation.
  2. Complete the remaining parts of the form as indicated.
  3. Sign the form using your legal name in the space under “SIGN YOUR NAME IN THE SPACE BELOW.”
  4. Mail your completed form to your County Clerk.  You can find out where your County Clerk is located here.  If you wish to ensure that your identity is verified at the time of registration, include a copy of an acceptable form of ID.  See below for more information on what types of identification are acceptable.  If you do not include proof of identification with your registration application, you may present an acceptable ID the first time you vote.

If you do not receive confirmation of your registration in three weeks, contact your County Clerk’s office to follow up.

Registration Eligibility

You are eligible to vote in West Virginia if you:

  • Are a United States citizen and reside in West Virginia;
  • Have not been deemed “mentally incompetent” by a court;
  • Are not currently serving the terms of a felony conviction (including treason or election bribery), on probation, or on parole; and
  • Are 18 years old or older before the general or special election.

Identification Required for Registration

You must submit proof of identification along with your voter registration application, or present an acceptable form of ID when you register in person or vote for the first time.  Acceptable forms of ID include:

  • A current and valid photo ID;
  • A current utility bill;
  • A bank statement;
  • A government check;
  • A paycheck; and
  • Any other official government document (must be current and include your name and address).

You may vote by absentee ballot if:

  • You are attending school;
  • You are traveling outside of your county for business or personal reasons;
  • You are prevented from accessing your polling place due to illness, physical disability, or advanced age;
  • You are incarcerated or serving home confinement for a misdemeanor and are legally registered to vote;
  • Your work hours and distance from the county seat make voting in person impossible;
  • You have a work assignment that requires you to live outside of the county (four years or less); or
  • Your service as an elected or appointed federal official requires you to temporarily live outside of your county.

Rules and Deadlines

  • Your request for an absentee ballot must be received by no later than the 6th day before the election.
  • You may apply as early as eighty-four days before the election but the ballots are not ready for mailing until forty-six days before the election.
  • You must postmark your ballot by Election Day and it must be received no later than five days after the election, excluding Sundays. Hand-delivered ballots must be received on Election Day.

Download the WV Absentee Ballot Application.

Track your Absentee Ballot.

Emergency Absentee Voting

You or an immediate family member may request emergency absentee voting on your behalf if you are in a hospital or other health care facility in your county on Election Day, or if you are a poll worker appointed to a precinct other than your own after the Early Voting period.  In some counties, you may be eligible for Emergency Absentee Voting if you are in a nursing home or in a hospital or health care facility 30 miles or less from your county seat.  Contact your County Clerk's Office for more information.

To request an Emergency Absentee Ballot, you or an immediate family member must complete the request form here.  The form can be submitted beginning the seventh day before the election. It must be received by noon on Election Day. 

Identification Requirements to Register to Vote

As described above, if you registered to vote for the first time in West Virginia, or for the first time in this county and you have not cast a vote in a federal election in this state, you must submit a copy of one of the following either with your application or when you show up to vote for the first time:

  • Current and valid photo ID;
  • A current utility bill;
  • Bank statement;
  • Government check;
  • Paycheck; or
  • Any other official government document (must be current and include your name and current address).

Identification Requirements to Cast a Ballot

If the voter is duly registered at the precinct at which he or she is trying to vote, no identification is necessary.  The voter must only state his or her name and residence and, after being found in the poll book by a poll clerk, sign his or her name in the appropriate place in the poll book.

Moving Within the Same County

If you are moving within your county, or change your name, you can update your registration in one of these ways:

  • at your County Clerk's Office, or other voter registration locations;
  • by mail, using the regular mail-in voter registration form;
  • at your polling place, if you have not changed precincts; or
  • at your new polling place if you have moved to a new precinct.  However, this will require you to vote a provisional ballot since your registration would not be available to check.

Moving to a Different County

If you move to another county in West Virginia, you must re-register in that county.

If You Are a Military or Overseas Voter

Voters covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Voters Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) must apply for an absentee ballot using the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA)* or the West Virginia Absentee Ballot Application.  The voter must send their completed application to the county clerk's office where they are registered to vote.  Absentee ballot applications may be received as early as January 1 of an election year or 84 days before an election.  The application must be RECEIVED by the county clerk no later than 6 days before the election in order to be processed. 

Note: Military and Overseas voters do NOT receive their ballots automatically and must reapply for absentee status every election cycle.  After the military or overseas voter turns in their absentee ballot request application for that election year, they will then be registered to receive absentee ballots for both the primary and general election.              

Please contact your County Clerk if you need more information.

UOCAVA voters can track the status of their ballots on the web.  Track your ballot here

*The FPCA also serves as a voter registration application, if needed. Voter registration closes on the 21st day before a regularly scheduled election.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA), also known as Standard Form 76, to register to vote and to request an absentee ballot.  Visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's (FVAP) West Virginia-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can send and receive voting materials by fax and email.  If you wish to use the fax or email options, you must indicate this on your FPCA.  Instructions for doing so are found on the FVAP's West Virginia-specific FPCA page.

Military and overseas citizens can use the Federal Write-In Absentee Ballot (FWAB) if they are concerned with receiving their printed ballot and returning it by the 7:00 p.m., Election Day deadline.  The FWAB is a blank ballot on which voters write-in their choices.  The FWAB may also be used  to register to vote and to apply for the absentee ballot, all in one step.  If the FWAB is being used to register to vote, it must be received by the voter registration deadline.  For specific instructions, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program's West Virginia-specific FWAB page.

Voting rights are restored when the term of your conviction ends.  You must fill out a voter registration application by mail or at your county clerk's office in order to be eligible to vote again.

For more information, visit the Secretary of State website, or click here to read the West Virginia State Election Code.

**The materials below have not been updated since 2014**


Top Issues to Field

For more information for voters with disabilities, visit the National Disability Rights Network’s voting resource center.

For more information for student voters, visit the West Virginia Student Voting Guide from the Brennan Center for Justice.

Information provided by Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights

2016 Election Information for your state