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West Virginians using new portal to request absentee ballot online

West Virginia

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – More than 15,000 voters have already used a new portal to request an absentee ballot for the 2020 General Election, according to West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner.

The Secretary of State’s Office launched portal Aug. 11 despite initial technical issues as a new option to accommodate the increased interest in absentee voting caused by the pandemic.

The portal is also a first for elections in the state.

“We are pleased with the large interest in the new online portal,” Warner said. “Voters wanting to cast their ballot absentee now have a secure opportunity to request their ballot online, which increases efficiency and reduces potential delays presented by paper applications.”

Warner says the portal is easy to use and allows registered voters to request an absentee ballot entirely online. The voter does not have to download an application or use the mail to request the ballot. Once the online application is complete, Warner says the voter will be verified by his or her county clerk. 

Another 7,348 applications have been received in the mail or in-person by county clerks, according to the Secretary of State’s office.

Absentee ballots will start going in the mail to voters on Sept. 18. Registered voters who want to submit a paper application can print the form from GoVoteWV.com. they can then mail, fax, or email the completed application to their county clerk. Voters can also contact their county clerk for to get the application.

“Voters should expect their absentee ballot to arrive shortly after it goes in the mail on Sept. 18,” Warner said. “We are encouraging voters to take their time to vote, but to return the ballot as soon as possible to assist counties with the expected increased volume of absentee ballots.”

Warner says the last day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 28. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 13. Those eligible can register to vote online anytime at GoVoteWV.com.  

In-person voting remains a safe and secure option for the 2020 General Election, according to Warner. The early voting period runs from Oct. 21 to 31, and Election Day is Nov. 3. 

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