Coronavirus Updates

Call for voting changes for the May WV primary election

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — People are still scheduled to vote in person for the May 12th primary in West Virginia, but some would like to see that change. A group of Democrats from the State Legislature believes there is still time for everyone in the state to get an absentee ballot and just mail it in, instead of showing up in person.

“The Secretary of State has taken the measures to give us the opportunity for absentee ballots for all, so we have that option now … I’m optimistic that the election will go on as scheduled, but we have to be prepared if this doesn’t go away that quickly and we need to have those measures in place,” said Del. Andrew Robinson, (D) West Virginia.

The Secretary of State already has a legal ruling that says that mere concerns about coronavirus will qualify someone for a medical exception to receive an absentee ballot. Polling places are often crowded, and distancing those standing in line will be a priority. For now, the election is still set for giving people three ways to vote.

“Every voter in West Virginia can vote an absentee ballot, and we are encouraging that for the obvious safety reasons. But also we will still have early voting, and we will also have election day voting. So, there is no reasons that someone shouldn’t be able to vote in a safe manner here in West Virginia,” said Secretary of State Mac Warner, (R) West Virginia.

The Secretary of State says in normal elections about 5% of people vote absentee. In the coming primary, he hopes at least 50 percent of people will vote that way.

“Getting an application to vote absentee is very easy. You just download the form from the Secretary of State’s website. The top box is where you check if asking for a medical exception. And remember, just the fear of getting coronavirus is now a legitimate reason for voting absentee,” said Mark Curtis, 13 News Working for You.

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