Charleston, W. Va. – As in-person Early Voting continues and Election Day nears, voters who requested an absentee ballot due to COVID-19 have until June 9 for their absentee ballots to be postmarked and sent back to the county clerk. Absentee ballots can also be submitted in-person until June 8 at the county clerk’s office, but cannot be submitted to any satellite precincts during Early Voting or on Election Day.
Additionally, absentee voters who have not yet submitted their absentee ballots still have the option to choose to vote in-person. However, to reduce the time and resources needed to process provisional ballots, voters who have absentee ballots on-hand but choose to vote in person are strongly encouraged to bring them to the polls.
Voters who bring their absentee ballots to the polls must hand the absentee ballot to the poll workers to be “spoiled,” so they may vote a regular ballot in person. Voters who do not bring their absentee ballots with them, by law, must be issued a provisional ballot. Provisional ballots are not counted on election night, but are sent to the Board of Canvassers for review on a case-by-case basis. A person may NOT vote in-person if an absentee ballot has already been cast.
As of May 31, a total of 257,539 registered voters in West Virginia requested an absentee ballot, and 163,886 ballots have been cast. For timely processing on Election Day, Secretary of State Mac Warner encourages voters who want to cast an absentee ballot to complete and return it to their county clerk as soon as possible. Again, to be counted, absentee ballots must be postmarked in the mail back to the appropriate county clerk by June 9, 2020.
The deadline to request an absentee ballot is June 3, and applications must be received by the county clerk on that date. Applications received after June 3, even if postmarked on or before the deadline, cannot be accepted by law. The absentee request form can be requested orally or in writing to the county clerk, or downloaded at GoVoteWV.com. The form can be returned to the county clerk by mail, email, fax, or in person.
Using the online Absentee Ballot Tracking tool, absentee ballots can be tracked throughout the entire process: from the application receipt date, when it is mailed to the voter, when it is received by the county, and when it is counted or rejected by the Board of Canvassers.
In-person Early Voting will continue through June 6, and Election Day is June 9. For a full list of locations and hours, or to find your polling place for Election Day, visit GoVoteWV.com.
Warner asks that voters needing further instruction or clarification to please contact their county clerk. A directory of county clerks is located at GoVoteWV.com.