The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed into law in 2002. This federal law seeks to enhance voting accessibility and provide greater confidence in the election process. HAVA provided funding to states to replace outdated voting systems, implement statewide voter registration databases, and improve the administration of elections. Furthermore, HAVA established minimum election administration standards for state and local government and created the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to provide guidance for meeting those standards. Learn more about how HAVA has changed the election process below.
Help America Vote Act of 2002
Election Assistance Commission
HAVA requires that if for any reason an individual’s eligibility to vote is in question, he or she shall be permitted to cast a provisional ballot. For more information on provisional voting in West Virginia, visit our Provisional Voting page.
HAVA promotes the participation of military and overseas voters covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) by establishing the following provisions:
For more information on voting absentee while serving in the military or residing overseas, visit our Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA) page.
In 2004 West Virginia implemented its HAVA compliant voter registration system, known today as SVRS. Voter registration information across the state is entered into this database at the county level. HAVA requires that state and local election officials maintain the list of voters in the database according to the provisions of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993.
Title III of HAVA states that an individual meets the identification requirements for voter registration if he or she presents one of the following documents to the appropriate election official that shows the current name and address of the voter as listed on the voter registration application:
In addition, HAVA allows for voters who register by mail to include a copy of one of the above documents with their voter registration form in order to meet identification requirements. If they do not present a copy of identification with their form, they may present it at the polls the first time they vote.
HAVA provides for an administrative complaint procedure available to individuals who believe that they have been discriminated against or denied their right to vote. For more information on election complaint procedures and/or to download the Election Complaint Form
HAVA provides funds to counties to help ensure polling places are accessible to individuals with disabilities, and the Secretary of State’s Office is responsible for overseeing the grant process. Funds are used for improvements such as building ramps, paving parking areas, and widening doorways. Election administrators may visit our Polling Place Accessibility page (need content) for more information on the grant process and to download applications for HAVA ADA grants.
If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us: 304.558.6000 toll free 866.767.8683 email: Elections@wvsos.gov