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How to Register, Vote and Track Your Ballot in West Virginia

West Virginians Head To Polls To Vote In GOP Senate Primary
A voter walks into a polling location in Wheeling.
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En español |  West Virginia offers several ways to register to vote, including online, by mail and in person. Eligible residents who obtain or renew a driver’s license in person at the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles will be automatically registered to vote unless they opt out.

West Virginia’s Nov. 8 general election decided races for the U.S. House of Representatives, the State Senate and House of Delegates, and other state, county and municipal offices.

Essential info:

Have there been recent changes to voting in West Virginia?

The state's recent redistricting plan redrew the boundaries for U.S. House districts and created new single-delegate districts for the 100-member House of Delegates.

How do I register to vote?

  • Online: Use the state’s online portal to register, update your registration, check your status or change your party affiliation. To submit your registration form online, you must include your driver’s license number or an approved ID card number along with the last four digits of your Social Security number. A list of acceptable IDs is available on the state elections website. 
  • By mail or in person: Go to the elections website to fill out a voter registration application that you can print, sign and deliver to your county clerk by mail or in person. Registration forms are also available at county clerk’s offices, public libraries, colleges and universities, and senior community centers. You may also call the state elections office at 304-558-6000 (or toll-free at 866-767-8683) and ask to have a registration form mailed to you.

West Virginians who obtain or renew a driver’s license in person at the Department of Motor Vehicles will be automatically registered to vote unless they opt out. West Virginia does not permit voters to register on Election Day. 

Does my party affiliation matter when I vote?

West Virginia has a hybrid primary system that permits parties to determine for themselves whether unaffiliated voters may vote in their primaries. If you are party affiliated, you must vote for candidates from that party. If you want to change your party affiliation, you must do so 21 days before the primary. You are not obligated to be affiliated with a party to vote in the general election.

How can I get a mail-in or absentee ballot?

  • Phone: Call the state elections office at 304-558-6000 (or toll-free at 866-767-8683) to have an absentee ballot application mailed to you. Fill it out and return it via mail or in person to your county clerk’s office.

Your completed absentee ballot must be mailed and postmarked by Election Day. Hand-delivered absentee ballots must be taken to your county clerk’s office 24 hours before Election Day. Voters do not have to personally return their completed absentee ballots, but no one person may deliver more than two voters' absentee ballots.

Can I track my absentee ballot?

Yes. You can track your absentee ballot using West Virginia’s online tracking tool

Can I vote in person before Election Day?

Check the state elections website to find out when the early voter period takes place ahead of scheduled elections. You can also check with your county clerk’s office. West Virginia does not provide drop boxes for early voters.

What do I need to know about voting at the polls on Election Day?

Polls are open from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Find your polling place on the state elections website.

Do I need identification to vote?

Yes. All forms of acceptable ID, such as a driver’s license, U.S. passport, birth certificate or voter registration card, must be current — not expired. You won’t need ID if you’re voting absentee or if you fall under the three categories of exempt voters, including residents of state-run long-term care facilities.

First-time voters who haven’t provided ID when registering to vote must provide a state-approved ID. If you are a registered voter and cannot get an approved ID, you may apply for a free voter ID card at your county clerk's office. Applications must be submitted in person. 

Editor’s note: This guide was updated on Nov. 28, 2022. The guide was first published on Aug. 5, 2020. 

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