Charleston, W.Va. — Secretary of State Mac Warner announced today that as of Oct. 19, a total of 1,053 eligible West Virginia voters have already cast their ballots in the 2020 General Election using the electronic absentee method. In West Virginia, electronic voting is limited to active military and overseas voters as well as voters who have a qualifying disability.
The total includes 921 active military or overseas, and 132 with a physical disability which prevents them from voting in person and voting a paper ballot without assistance.
In 2018, West Virginia was the first state in the nation to make electronic absentee return available via smartphone or tablet to voters covered under UOCAVA, the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voters Act. The success of the two election test pilots conducted in 2018 led the West Virginia Legislature to expand the opportunity to voters with certain physical disabilities. The electronic return option is crucial for overseas voters who may be experiencing mail service delays and disruptions as a result of their military assignments and COVID-19. However, voters are still permitted to use the paper absentee, fax, or email ballot methods if they prefer.
"West Virginia is proud to offer our military, overseas, and citizens with physical disabilities the option to vote electronically with a secure and reliable online option,” Warner said. “Other states are looking to West Virginia as a role model for eliminating barriers to the ballot box. We are proud to lead the nation in options to vote.”
There is still time for eligible voters to apply and use the option to cast their ballot in the upcoming election. Eligible voters who are interested in using the e-voting option can apply using the Absentee Ballot Application portal at GoVoteWV.com or by submitting a paper application to their county clerk. Military and overseas voters may also use the Federal Post Card Application at FVAP.gov. The deadline to apply for an absentee ballot is Oct. 28, and the application must be received by the county clerk on this date to be accepted. Electronic ballots must be received on Nov. 3 by 7:30 p.m. ET.
The e-voting pilot is a collaboration with the West Virginia Secretary of State, Democracy Live, Tusk Philanthropies, and the National Cybersecurity Center.
For more information about voting in the upcoming General Election, visit GoVoteWV.com.