Charleston, W.Va. — Absentee ballots are proving to continue to be a popular method of voting heading into the early stages of the General Election. The available options for voters during the COVID-19 pandemic include the ability to request an absentee ballot using COVID-19 as an excuse, just as West Virginia provided in the Primary Election. The absentee ballot request period began on Aug. 11.
In just the first four weeks of the absentee ballot request period, a total of 58,995 requests have already been received. Once an Absentee Ballot Application is received online or by mail, county clerks review the application to verify the voter's identity and process the approved request.
A total of 46,152 absentee ballot applications have already been verified and approved. These voters can see the status of their absentee ballot application and ballot, once ballots are issued beginning Sept. 18, at GoVoteWV.com.
"Our county clerks are carefully verifying each and every absentee ballot request," said Secretary of State Mac Warner. "We are all on the lookout for suspicious activities. Voter fraud, duplicate requests, and those who attempt to cheat will be caught."
Starting Friday, Sept. 18, county clerks will mail absentee ballots to voters whose applications have been verified and approved.
According to Warner, voters have many different options to request an absentee ballot. They can submit their absentee request online at GoVoteWV.com using a smartphone, tablet, or computer. Voters can also print the application from the GoVoteWV.com website and mail the application to their county clerk. Or, voters can call, email, or write their county clerk to request an application be mailed to their address.
"It really is that easy. During this difficult time, West Virginia offers an easy, safe, and secure process for every voter who wants to cast their ballot absentee," Warner said.
County clerks have been preparing to offer safe and secure in-person voting for the early voting period and on Election Day. Just as in the Primary Election, robust COVID-19 safety precautions will be in place for voters who prefer to vote in person at their polling location.