How to Vote in West Virginia’s 2024 Elections

Posted on 05/15/24 by Grace Dickinson

En español

Important dates and election information

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  • Deadline to register to vote: Tuesday, Oct. 15
  • Deadline to request an absentee ballot:  Wednesday, Oct. 30
  • Early voting: Wednesday, Oct. 23, through Friday, Nov. 1, during business hours, along with mandatory 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours on Saturday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Nov. 2
  • Deadline to receive absentee ballot by mail (when postmarked by Election Day): Tuesday, Nov. 12
  • General election: Tuesday, Nov. 5

    Voting at a glance

    • Voter registration: To check your registration status, use the secretary of state’s online tool.
    Election 2022 West Virginia Early Voting
    A sign directs voters in Huntington, West Virginia.
    Sholten Singer/The Herald-Dispatch/AP Photo

    How to register to vote

    If you obtain or renew a driver’s license in person at the Division of Motor Vehicles, you’ll automatically be registered to vote, unless you opt out.

    You can register:

    • Online: Use the state’s online portal. You must provide your West Virginia driver’s license number or ID card number and the last four digits of your Social Security number.
    • By mail: Fill out a registration form online and print it, or download and print a blank form to complete by hand. Sign the form and deliver it to your county clerk’s office by mail or in person. You may also call the state elections office at 304-558-6000 (or toll-free at 866-767-8683) to request a registration form by mail.
    • In person: Register at your county clerk’s office or a participating voter registration agency, such as an armed services recruitment office.

    The deadline to register is Tuesday, Oct. 15, by 11:59 p.m. for online applications and by close of business for in-person applications. (Hours vary by location.) Mail applications must be postmarked by Tuesday, Oct. 15.

    When registering by mail or in person as a first-time voter, you must submit an approved form of ID, such as a copy of a current and valid photo ID, utility bill, bank statement, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and current residence address. If you do not submit an approved ID, you’ll be asked to show one before voting at the polls.

    Registering to vote on Election Day

    West Virginia does not permit voters to register on Election Day.

    Check your voter registration status

    Check your registration status using the secretary of state’s online tool.

    How to request an absentee ballot

    Registered voters who meet eligibility criteria can vote absentee, including those who are ill, immobile due to a disability or traveling outside their home counties. You can obtain an application:

    • Online: Download and print an application.
    • By phone: Call the state elections office at 304-558-6000 (or toll-free at 866-767-8683) to have an application mailed to you. 

    Complete your application by hand, sign it and submit it to your county clerk via mail, email, fax or in person. For county clerk information, use the secretary of state’s County Clerk Directory. Absentee ballot applications can be submitted starting Tuesday, Aug. 13. The deadline is Wednesday, Oct. 30, by close of business, if returning in person, or by 11:59 p.m. if returning online, by email or fax. Applications returned by mail must be postmarked by Wednesday, Oct. 30

    You must submit a new application to vote absentee for each election unless you qualify for the state’s Permanent Absentee Voting List, which is for those who have a permanent, physical disability or participate in the state’s Address Confidentiality Program.

    Returning your absentee ballot

    Return your absentee ballot:

    • By mail: Mail your completed ballot to your county clerk’s office using the provided, postage-paid envelope. Ballots without a postmark must be received by Wednesday, Nov. 6. Ballots postmarked by Election Day will be accepted up until Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the hour at which the board of canvassers convenes to begin the canvass. (Start times vary by county.)

    • In person: Return your ballot in person to your county clerk’s office up until close of business on Monday, Nov. 4. Hours vary by county. 

    First-time voters must submit a copy of an approved ID that shows your current name and address with your completed ballot.

    Track your absentee ballot using the secretary of state’s online tracking tool.

    Voting in person before Election Day

    All registered voters can vote early at their county courthouse, annex or designated community voting location. Early voting runs Wednesday Oct. 23, through Friday, Nov. 1, during business hours, along with mandatory 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. hours on Saturday, Oct. 26, and Saturday, Nov. 2. Find locations and hours posted to the secretary of state’s website closer to the start date, or contact your county clerk’s office.

    Voting at the polls on Election Day

    Polling hours are 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 5. Find your polling place using the secretary of state’s online tool.

    For sample ballots, use the state’s Voter Sample Ballot Lookup tool.

    Voter ID requirements on Election Day

    Voters must present an acceptable form of ID, such as a driver’s license, U.S. passport, birth certificate, West Virginia hunting or fishing license, or voter registration card.

    Exemptions are available to residents of state-run long-term care facilities, voters accompanied by an adult who has known them for at least six months, and voters who are known by a poll worker for at least six months. If you’re a registered voter and cannot get an approved ID, you can apply for a free voter ID card at your county clerk’s office.

    New voters who haven’t provided ID when registering to vote must provide an approved ID for first-time voters either at the polls or with their absentee ballots.

    Voting with a disability

    Voters with physical disabilities who can’t vote in person may vote absentee, and those who can’t mark their ballot without assistance may apply to vote electronically. The electronic ballot must be returned no later than 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

    All polling locations offer accessible voting equipment. Voters with an approved reason, such as blindness or a disability, may receive assistance from two poll workers (from any two different parties). Voters may also request assistance from a person of their choice, excluding the voter’s past or current employer, agent of that employer, officer of a labor union of which the voter is a past or present member, or a candidate on the ballot or a write-in candidate.

    Curbside voting is available for some voters. Learn more about options for voters with disabilities on the secretary of state’s website.

    Editor’s note: This guide was originally published Jan. 18, 2024, and has been updated with new information about voting in the 2024 general election.

    Grace Dickinson is a writer for who covers federal and state policy. She previously wrote for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Her work has also appeared on sites including HuffPost and Eater.

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      This story is provided by AARP West Virginia. Visit the AARP West Virginia page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.

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