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Voting Guide


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Registering To Vote – Answers to Your Questions

To vote in the next election you Must register to vote!

  • I cannot remember if I am registered to vote; how can I find out?To find out if you are already registered to vote, you can:
  • When do I have to register to vote?You may register at any time. However, to be eligible to vote in a specific election, you must register 21 days before that election.
  • Am I eligible to register to vote?You must be:
    • A resident of West Virginia and the county where you register,
    • A U.S. Citizen,
    • At least 17 years old and 18 before the next general election, and
    • 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.
  • Am I eligible to vote if I am under Guardianship?You are eligible to register and vote unless a Judge has specifically ruled you mentally incompetent or specifically ruled that you have lost your voting rights in a final order.
  • How do I Register to Vote?You may register online, in person or by mail. You must fill out the registration form, and provide valid identification. If you choose to register by mail, then you must provide a copy of your identification with the registration form or the first time you vote.If you mail this registration form, valid identification includes:
    • A current & valid photo ID with current residence address, or
    • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current residence address.
  • How can I register to vote online?You may register to vote online if you have a West Virginia driver’s license or state issued ID card: https://ovr.sos.wv.gov/register
  • Where can I get the registration form, if I plan to register by mail? Where do I mail it?You may download the registration from this website: http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/Mail your registration form to your County Clerk’s office.
  • Where can I register to vote in person?
    • Your County Clerk’s Office.
    • Driver license offices
    • Public assistance agencies
    • Agencies which serve people with disabilities
    • Military recruiting offices
    • The Motor Voter program at your local Department of Motor Vehicles office

    If it is close to an election, registering at the county clerk’s office is the best place to go to be certain you will be on the books on election day.

  • How do I know that I am registered?Visit https://services.sos.wv.gov/Elections/Voter/AmIRegisteredToVote, or call your County Clerk’s office.
  • Where is my County Clerk’s Office?The phone numbers of West Virginia’s County Clerk’s offices are listed at http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/
  • Who do I ask if I need help?
    • Visit http://www.sos.wv.gov,
    • Call or Visit your County Clerk’s office, or
    • call West Virginia Advocates.

On Voting Day – Answers to Your Questions

  • When are the polls open?On election day, the polls will be open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM.
  • Is there another day I can vote?Yes, you may take advantage of Early Voting.Any registered voter may vote at their County Clerk’s office 13 days before the election and ending the 3rd day before the election. Some counties offer additional Early Voting locations. Early Voting is available on weekdays during regular business hours and on Saturdays from 9AM to 5PM.Please call your County Clerk’s office to find out additional locations and hours for Early Voting.
  • Where do I vote?You must vote at your polling place. This place is determined by your physical address that you put on your registration form. To find out where your polling place is:
  • What do I need to bring?If you registered by mail, and did not provide a copy with your registration form, you will need to bring:
    • A copy of a current & valid photo ID, or
    • A copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document that shows your name and current residence address.

    Even if you registered in person or provided the necessary documentation with your registration form, it is a good idea to bring the above identification with you.

  • What happens if I do not bring the required documentation, my name is not on the voting list, or I am in the wrong precinct?Request a provisional ballot.
  • What is a provisional ballot?A provisional ballot is used when a voter’s eligibility cannot be determined at the polling place. The vote cast on a provisional ballot will not be considered until canvass and the voter’s eligibility can be determined. The status of a provisional ballot can be checked online at: https://apps.sos.wv.gov/elections/voter/
  • What if I cannot get to my polling place or my County Clerk’s office to vote due to a medical condition or a disability?Then you can request an absentee ballot. More instructions on absentee ballots may be found later in this newsletter.
  • How do I find out what kind of voting system my county uses?
    • You may call your County Clerk’s office, or
    • Visit this website, which details what voting systems each county of West Virginia uses: http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/

    Instructions on the use of the electronic voting systems used in West Virginia can be found at this website: http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/

  • Is there anything else that can make voting easier?Please call your County Clerk’s office to verify that you are registered before election day. Ask for accommodations (assistance with voting, accessible voting machine, etc.) when you sign in. Also, be sure that you know where your polling place is.

Absentee Ballots – Answers to Your Questions

  • What if I cannot get to my polling place or my County Clerk’s office to vote due to a medical condition or a disability?If you are unable to get to the polling place or your County Clerk’s office to vote early, then you can request an absentee ballot.
  • What is an absentee ballot?An absentee ballot is a way for you to vote by mail if you are unable to travel to your polling place to vote. You must apply for an absentee ballot.You must specify the address in the county where you are a resident, plus an address where you are going to receive your absentee ballot.If the reason you are applying for an absentee ballot is due to an injury or disability, then the address where the ballot will be sent may be in the same county. However, if it for another reason, then the address must be outside the county.
  • Where do I get the application?
  • When must the application be completed?Absentee voting requests can be made 84 days before the election.The application for an absentee ballot may be faxed to the County Clerk’s office.The County Clerk’s office will mail you the absentee ballot within one business day of its receipt of a valid application.
  • When must I complete my absentee ballot?Hand-delivered ballots must be received by the day before the election.Mailed ballots should be postmarked by Election Day and received by the start of canvass (five days after the election, excluding Sundays).Your County Clerk will begin mailing ballots the 46th day before the election. Once you receive your absentee ballot from your County Clerk, vote and return it soon as possible.
  • Will I have to apply for an absentee ballot every election?Yes, you must apply for an absentee ballot every election; however, if you are permanently disabled, you may apply to be put on the permanent absentee voters list.To apply to be put on the permanent absentee voters list, a doctor’s statement must be sent in with the application.Please call your County Clerk’s office for more information.
  • Is there a way to vote if an emergency causes me to be hospitalized or placed in a nursing facility and it was too late to apply for an absentee ballot?Yes, if you are unexpectedly hospitalized or placed in a nursing home 7 or less days before the election, you may request an emergency absentee ballot. The facility must be within the county where you are registered to vote. The County Clerk may elect to extend this to adjacent counties. Please call your County Clerk to request an emergency absentee ballot.

Voting From the State Hospitals

  • Can I vote if I am at one of the state psychiatric hospitals?Yes, you still may vote if you are in one of the state psychiatric hospitals.Please, ask your social worker about your hospital’s policies on voting. You should be able to register to vote, apply for an absentee ballot, and cast that ballot by mail. Your hospital may have other arrangements for you to vote.
  • What address do I use to register to vote?If you maintain a residence outside of the hospital, you can use that address as your physical residence on the registration form and the absentee ballot. You should use the hospital’s address as your current mailing address.If you do not have a residence outside of the hospital, you can use the hospital’s address as both the residence and mailing address.The hospital’s addresses and counties are listed below.If you are unsure or need assistance, please contact your social worker.
  • Who do I contact if I am unable to get the help I need to vote?You may contact your hospital’s patient advocate (listed below). Or, you may contact West Virginia Advocates at (800) 950-5250.

Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital

Patient Advocate:
Cyndi Kirkhart, (800) 644-9318 x 320
Terry Stone, (800) 644-9318 x 319

Hospital Address:
Mildred Mitchell-Bateman Hospital
(Include your unit/room number)
1530 Norway Ave
Huntington, WV 25705

County: Cabell County

William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital

Patient Advocate:
Elizabeth Collett , (888) 269-1210 x 374
Sharoon Reed, (888) 269-1210 x 306

Hospital Address:
William R. Sharpe, Jr. Hospital
(Include your unit/room number)
936 Sharpe Hospital Road
Weston, WV 26452-8550

County: Lewis County

Accessible Voting – Questions About Your Right to Vote

  • Does my disability affect my right to vote?No, you have a right to vote regardless of your disability, unless a court has ruled that you are mentally incompetent.
  • Does the polling place have to be accessible?Yes the polling place must have:
    • accessible parking spaces with proper signs
    • accessible routes from the parking area to the building
    • accessible doors and routes inside the building to the voting machine.
  • Can someone assist me in voting?Yes, you have the right to receive assistance from someone of your choice. Please inform a poll worker and they will have you and your assistant fill out an ‘assisted voter form.’It is illegal for the person who is assisting you to reveal your votes!If you do not have a designated person to assist you, two pollworkers of opposite parties can assist you. The person assisting you cannot be a candidate, a past or present employer, or a union representative.
  • Can I vote from my car?Some counties provide the option for you to vote from your car if the polling place is not accessible. Poll workers of different political parties will bring a ballot directly to your car.Please call your County Clerk’s office for more information.
  • If I cannot go to the polling place, are there other ways that I can vote?Yes, you may take advantage of Early Voting, absentee ballots, and emergency absentee ballots.
  • What is Early Voting?Any registered voter may vote at their County Clerk’s office beginning 13 days before the election and ending the 3rd day before the election.Please call your County Clerk’s office to find out the location and hours for Early Voting.
  • What is an absentee ballot and an emergency absentee ballot?An absentee ballot is a way for you to vote by mail if you are unable to travel to your polling place to vote. It is applied for in advance.An emergency absentee ballot is a way for you to vote if you are hospitalized or placed in the care of a nursing facility within one week of the election. You must request this from the County Clerk’s office.More information on absentee ballots and emergency absentee ballots can be found earlier in this newsletter, or by contacting your County Clerk’s office.
  • Can I bring my service animal to the polling place?Yes, you have the right to bring your service animal into a polling place.
  • What do I do if I know that my polling place is not accessible to me?Contact your County Clerk and ask them to make the necessary changes to bring the polling place into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.If your precinct cannot be made accessible in time for the election, you may request to vote at a different precinct.Please call your County Clerk’s office to make arrangements.
  • What if my polling place isn’t accessible on voting day?Please call, 1 (866) SOS-VOTE (866-767-8683) and ask for elections. They will be able to assist you.Also, please call us and let us know of any issues you had during election day, and we may do an onsite accessibility study of your polling place. There is also an accessibility survey attached to this newsletter.

Polling Place Accessibility Survey

West Virginia Advocates would like to know if your polling place is accessible. Providing us information on the accessibility of your polling place may help get any accessibility issues corrected in the future. If you are interested in filling out the survey, then please indicate the county and precinct information. You may also provide your contact information, although that is not required.

Download the survey

Return the survey by:

  • U.S. Mail to: WV Advocates, 1207 Quarrier St, Ste 400, Charleston, WV 25301;
  • Email: contact@wvadvocates.org
  • Fax: (304) 346-0867; or
  • Phone: (800) 950-5250

Thank you very much for your help in making West Virginia accessible!

Additional Contacts

Credits

Special Thanks to the Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service for the use of their survey, and the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office.

Funding

Funding for this publication is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Community Living, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. v.1.3