Absentee Voting Information

Absentee Voting

In West Virginia, certain registered voters may receive and vote an absentee ballot by mail. This page provides information regarding absentee voting eligibility, process and required forms.

Eligibility and Absentee Voting Information:

Voters may submit an absentee ballot application beginning January 1 for the upcoming May Primary Election, and beginning on the 84th day before the General Election.

The absentee ballot application must be received in your county clerk’s office by the 6th day before each election. Applications may be submitted to your county clerk via fax, U.S. mail, email, or in-person by hand delivery.

A complete list of the eligibility requirements and information relating to the different forms and qualifications for absentee voting in West Virginia may be viewed at the following link: Eligibility For Absentee Voting in West Virginia.

Voting an Absentee Ballot

County Clerks begin mailing ballots on the 46th day before the election. For instructions on how to vote an absentee ballot, please select one of the links below:

Instructions for Voting a Paper Ballot by Mail

Instructions for Voting an Optical Scan Ballot by Mail

Electronic Absentee for Voters with Physical Disabilities

Returning an Absentee Ballot

After receiving an absentee ballot, the voter may simply vote and return the ballot to the County Clerk in the appropriate envelopes as soon as possible (or by hand delivery at the Clerk’s office).

If your first time voting will be absentee by mail, you must send a copy of one of the forms of valid ID listed below with your ballot.

Valid ID for first time voters must show your current name and address in order to be accepted:

  • Valid photo identification

  • Utility bill

  • Bank statement

  • Government check

  • Paycheck

  • Any other official government document

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.

For hand-delivery, absentee ballots must be delivered 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.

Voters Covered under the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)

Voters covered under UOCAVA may register to vote, request and return an absentee ballot for certain elections held within West Virginia. UOCAVA voters may submit their absentee application beginning January 1 of the election year.

To see whether you qualify to vote absentee under UOCAVA, please visit the following page: Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (UOCAVA)

If you are eligible as a UOCAVA voter, you may both register to vote and apply for an absentee ballot by filling out and submitting the Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). If you are registering to vote for the first time, your FPCA must be submitted via U.S. mail no later than 21-days before election day. If you are already registered to vote, you may submit your FPCA to your county clerk via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

You may return your absentee ballot in the same manner it was transmitted based on your choice marked on the FPCA, or via U.S. Mail. Your absentee ballot must be received by your county clerk by the start of Canvass, which begins in most counties five (5) days after Election Day.

Tracking an Absentee Ballot

Absentee voters may conveniently track the status of their absentee ballots by entering the requested information at the following link: Absentee Ballot Tracking.​​​​​​​​

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