Election: Voter registration deadline nears in West Virginia

WHEELING, W.Va. — As the Nov. 6 general election draws closer, now is the time for West Virginia voters to update their registrations and know when and where they can cast their ballots.

For those not already registered to vote, the deadline to register in West Virginia is Oct. 16. The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office offers an online service to residents not certain if their registration is current.

Individuals can check personal voter registration information at services.sos.wv.gov/Elections/Voter/AmIRegisteredToVote. Users enter a name and birth date, and data pops up with the person’s name, party affiliation, precinct number and where his or her voting precinct is located.

To register to vote in West Virginia, a person must be at least age 18 and a citizen of the United States. He or she also must have resided at a registered legal address in West Virginia for at least 30 days before the election to be considered eligible to vote.

Voters may register to vote online at the West Virginia Secretary of State’s website, or can download an application there to fill out and mail in the application to the office. Voters also may register to vote in person at the respective county clerk’s office.

As of September, West Virginia had 1,237,269 registered voters.

Early voting across the state starts taking place at local courthouses beginning Oct. 24 through Nov. 3. Ballots may be cast during regular office hours on weekdays, and also from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays, Oct. 27 and Nov. 3.

Absentee ballot applications also are available at county clerks offices and online at sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/AbsenteeVotingInformation. aspx.

After receiving an absentee ballot, a voter may simply vote and return the ballot to the county clerk with the enclosed envelopes either in person or by mail.

Unless a voter is a military or overseas voter, the ballot must be mailed and postmarked by Election Day and received by the start of canvass Nov. 12.

For hand-delivery, absentee ballots must be brought to the County Clerk’s office by the day before Election Day. Although voters do not have to personally return his or her absentee ballot, no one person may deliver more than two voters’ absentee ballots.

West Virginians serving in the military or living outside the country may be covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act. Those voters can apply for an absentee ballot by filling out and submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). This application can be found at sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/AbsenteeVotingInformation.aspx.

The absentee ballot may be returned in the same manner as it was transmitted, and it must be received by county elections officials by the start of canvass.

Those Hancock County residents with questions about voter registration or voting may contact county offices at 304-564-3311.