Voting in West Virginia
Voting in 2014 Primaries
Ballot access for major and minor party candidates
Absentee voting • Early voting
Open Primary • Closed Primary • Blanket Primary
Online voter registration in the 50 states
West Virginia has a mixed primary system. Unaffiliated voters and members of minor parties may vote in the Democratic or Republican primaries. The Mountain party typically holds a convention to choose a candidate.
To vote in West Virginia, you must meet the following requirements:
- A resident of West Virginia and the county in which you register.
- A U.S. Citizen.
- At least 17 years old, and 18 before the next General Election. (Seventeen year olds may register and vote in primary elections, if they turn 18 by the next General Election.)
- Not currently under conviction for a felony, including probation or parole, or a court ruling of mental incompetence. Voting rights are restored when the term of conviction ends.
When and where
The deadline for registration is 21 days prior to an election. You may register to vote in the following ways:
- In Person: You may register in person at the office of the Secretary of State. You may also receive and submit your voter registration form at any of the offices listed below. Be sure to bring proof of physical address (drivers license; utility bill; bank statement; paycheck; or other government document).
- By Mail: You may request an application from your County Clerk, the Secretary of State, or by downloading the mail in application form. Return completed voter registration forms to your County Clerk's office.
Voting on election day
- See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times
You are eligible to vote absentee in an election if you cannot make it to the polls on election day for one of the following reasons:
- You will be working or traveling all 13 days prior to Election Day
- Your hours of employment make voting impossible
- You live another place during part of the year
- You have been given a job assignment which requires you to live outside of your county or West Virginia
- You have health problems or a physical disability
- Your polling place inaccessible to you
- You have been hospitalized because of an emergency and will be in the hospital or care facility seven days leading up to and including Election Day
- You are in the military or overseas
- You attend school away from home
- You are under incarceration or detention in jail or in home (not for any felony, or treason, or bribery in an election)
To vote absentee a request must be received by the county clerk no later than the sixth day prior to the election. The ballot must then be postmarked no later than election day and received by the canvass day (the Friday after a primary and the Monday after a general election).
Military and overseas voting
For full details, visit the Federal Voting Assistance Program here.
West Virginia is one of 34 states that has early voting with no specific requirements as to who can vote early. Early voting begins 13 days before an election and ends three days prior to election day. The average number of days prior to an election that voters can cast an early ballot is 21 days in states with a definitive starting date.
- Voter registration FAQ
- National Conference of State Legislatures, Electronic(or Online) Voter Registration, accessed May 10, 2013
- Open States, SB477
- West Virginia Secretary of State, "Absentee Voting," accessed December 17, 2013
- West Virginia Secretary of State "Early Voting," accessed December 17, 2013