Voter Registration in West Virginia
You must register to vote in West Virginia if you intend to vote in an upcoming election. West Virginia is one of most states that require preregistration during any type of election. You can complete voter registration in a number of ways, including online, by mail or by visiting your county clerk’s office. Once you have registered to vote, it is important to update your information any time you change your name or address.
A voter registration card will be mailed to you after you have completed registration. In order to vote this upcoming election, you will be required to register by certain deadlines. Once you are registered, you may be eligible for early voting and absentee voting, so it is important to learn more about each form of voting process, especially if you are currently out of state or stationed overseas.
Who can register to vote in West Virginia?
Before learning how to register to vote in West Virginia, it is important to learn about voter eligibility requirements that must be met before you can register or cast a vote. In order to register in West Virginia, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age by the time the next election is scheduled.
- Be a United States citizen.
- Be a resident of West Virginia.
- Not have been declared mentally incapacitated by a court.
- If you have been convicted of a felony, you must have had your voting rights restored.
West Virginia Voter Registration Deadline
It is important that you register to vote in West Virginia before the current deadline if you wish to cote in an upcoming election. Registration deadlines change each year, as the deadline is based upon election dates. However, registration must generally be completed within a few weeks of voting.
How to Register to Vote in West Virginia
If you need to change your voter registration or register for the first time in West Virginia, it is important to know that you have a variety of options in doing so. To register to vote, you must provide:
- Your name as it appears on your West Virginia state identification card or drivers license.
- Your full date of birth.
- Your West Virginia drivers license or identification number.
- The last four digits of your Social Security Number (SSN).
You can complete your voter registration online in order to send your application directly to your local county clerk office for processing. Once your application has been accepted, you will receive your voter card by mail.
Alternatively, you can complete an application and mail it to your local county clerk office. An application can be found online. However, it is worth knowing that due to postage and processing time, it will take longer for your application to be accepted. Lastly, you can also complete your registration by visiting your county clerk office in person.
Early Voting in West Virginia
If you are wondering, “Am I registered to vote in West Virginia?” then it is important to first review whether or not you are currently registered and ensure that your information is accurate before proceeding to early voting.
Early voting provides individuals the opportunity to vote, even if they cannot be present on the general voting day. In West Virginia, early voting is permitted to all residents within the state who are registered. Generally, early voting will take place 13 days prior to the election date.
West Virginia Voter Registration for Active Duty Military and Out-of-State Residents
So long as you are registered to vote in West Virginia, you are permitted to cast a ballot by mail if you are currently out of state or county due to active military duty orders, including members of the United States Armed Services, National Guard and the Merchant Marines. This courtesy is also extended to the immediate family members of the active military personnel, such as spouse and dependent children that are out of state or country due to the active service.
Furthermore, non-military WV residents who are out of the country to due personal, business or school-related travels are eligible or this same procedure. This voting process is referred to as an absentee vote, which is available to certain residents within the state.
You must still complete voter registration in order to take advantage of absentee voting. It is strongly recommended that you do so online if you are currently out of the country or state and eligible. In order to remain eligible for absentee voting for one of the above reasons, you must be expected to be absent for both the early voting hours and the Election Day.
West Virginia Voter Registration for Absentee Voting
After you register to vote in West Virginia, it is important to review whether or not you are eligible for an absentee vote if you are unable to present your ballot in person. Under certain circumstances, you may be eligible to vote by mail, also known as an absentee vote. Absentee voting is available to:
- Persons with a physical disability that would prevent access to a voting location.
- Persons located outside of the county due to personal or business travel. To be eligible, you must not be in the country during the hours of the early voting period and Election Day.
- Persons of the United States Uniformed Armed Services, Merchant Marines on active duty and active duty National Guard members who are away on orders during the voting periods.
You must request an absentee ballot and then return your completed ballot by mail to the county clerk office.
Voter Registration Cards in West Virginia
Your West Virginia voter registration card will contain information about yourself, such as your name, however, details such as your Social Security number are not included on the card. The most notable aspect of this card is that it will contain the location(s) in which you can cast your vote for the election. The card is not needed to vote and you will not be required to present it on Election Day.
Your voter registration card will be sent to the address that you register with. If you change your address, it is important to update your registration in order to obtain a new card and update your voting location.
How to Change Your Voter Registration in West Virginia
You can perform a West Virginia voter registration change of address, name change or party affiliation in various ways. Changes can be made on your online account, in person at your local county clerk office or by mail. Before you will be able to change the name listed on your registration, you will need to have already obtained a new West Virginia drivers license or state identification card that displays your new name.
If you are wondering, “Where do I vote?” you may refer to your registration card or contact your county clerk office. Available voting locations are based upon the address that you have listed on your registration. In the event that you change your voter registration address, it is important to know that a new card will be mailed to you and your voting location will be updated based upon the new address.
How to Replace a Lost West Virginia Voter Registration Card
If you have not received your West Virginia voter registration card within 30 days of registering, it is important to contact your city or county voter registration office or, alternatively, the Department of Elections. You can request a replacement card in person or over the phone should your card become lost, stolen or damaged.