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Coronavirus in West Virginia: Republican lawmakers oppose vote-by-mail push for June primary

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Republican lawmakers in the West Virginia House of Delegates and state Senate today announced strong support to continue moving forward with the June 9 Primary Election as currently planned. 

“We have full confidence in Secretary of State Mac Warner and our county clerks to conduct this election in a manner that protects the health of our people while also preserving our citizens’ fundamental right to vote through whichever available option they choose,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay. 

West Virginia currently provides four options for citizens to exercise their right to vote:

  • Absentee
  • In-person early voting
  • In-person election day voting
  • Electronic voting for a special population including those with disabilities and overseas military personnel. 

Legislators said the state should allow its citizens to decide for themselves which voting method they prefer.  

“We believe the voters know what option best suits them in these unprecedented times,” said House Majority Leader Amy Summers, R-Taylor. “They must have the right to choose to show up at the polls and make their voices heard – as they have in every election in our state’s history – if they so choose.”   

Lawmakers said the push to vote by mail for the impending election is also ill-advised because the proposal has not been thoroughly investigated to be sure it can be properly carried out. 

Lawmakers noted it took the state of Washington five years to implement its system, whereas West Virginia clerks might be expected to implement it in less than five weeks. 

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