West Virginia Absentee Ballot Guide

Last updated June 16, 2014
Military and Overseas voters should visit the Overseas Vote Foundation. Long Distance Voter's information should only be used by voters with US mailing addresses.

Voting Deadlines

  • Voter Registration Form: Postmarked 21 days before the election
  • Absentee Ballot Application: Received by the 6th day before the election
  • Voted Absentee Ballot: Postmarked by Election Day and received by the Canvass Day (5 days after the election, excluding Sunday).

How to vote by absentee ballot

Register to vote

Recommended: Use our Voter Registration Tool.  Enter your information, print and sign the completed form, and mail it to the address printed on the form. 

You can also download and complete West Virginia’s voter registration form. Mail your completed form to your County Clerk.

Verify your voter registration

It's best to verify your voter registration before applying for your absentee ballot.  If there's a problem with your registration, register again before proceeding.

NOTE: Most people receive their voter registration cards in the mail 2-3 weeks after registering to vote. Don't worry if you lost your voter registration card. You don't actually need it to vote.

Make sure you're eligible to vote by absentee ballot

In West Virginia, you may vote by absentee ballot for any of the following reasons:

  • you will be on personal or business travel during both the early voting period and election day;
  • you are attending a college, university or other place of education or training;
  • you are ill, or have an injury or other medical reason that keeps you confined;
  • you are incapacitated due to advanced age or a physical disability;
  • you are incarcerated or detained in jail or a home, but m not under conviction of any felony, of treason or of bribery in an election (including any period of probation or parole);
  • you employment makes voting in person impossible because of the hours worked and distance from the county seat;
  • you are a participant in the Address Confidentiality Program (ACP) with the Office of the Secretary of State;
  • the county absentee voting office and your polling place are inaccessible to to you due to your physical disability.

Apply for your absentee ballot

Download and complete West Virginia's absentee ballot application. Mail your completed form to your County Clerk.  Unless you are voting absentee by mail because of illness or disability, the ballot must be mailed to an out-of-county address. 

You may apply as early as 84 days before an election, but ballots are not printed and mailed until 6 weeks before the election.  Your application must be received by 6 days before the election.

Receive, complete, and return your absentee ballot

Complete your ballot, sign where indicated, and mail your voted ballot back to your County Clerk.  Your ballot must be postmarked by election day.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do I need to provide ID when I vote by absentee ballot in West Virginia? 

You do not need to provide ID if you've already voted in West Virginia at least once.  If you are voting for the first time in West Virginia,  you must include a copy of your ID with your application (unless you submitted it with your voter registration form). 

Acceptable forms of ID include acopy of a current and valid photo ID that shows your name and West Virginia address OR a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck or other government document that shows your name and West Virginia address.

I missed the absentee ballot deadline. Does West Virginia offer emergency absentee ballots?

You can apply for an emergency absentee ballot if you are hospitalized or admitted to a nursing home within seven days of the election.  You or a family member must contact the County Clerk and request an emergency ballot.  The County Clerk will deploy a team of emergency absentee voting commissioners to go to hospital or nursing home.  This commissioners will bring the ballot to the hospital and will return the voted ballot to the County Clerk.

Can I vote in person before the election in West Virginia?

Yes. Check out our Early Voting page for details.

Additional Information

State Election Website: http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/default.aspx
Email: http://www.sos.wv.gov/Pages/contact-elections.aspx
Local Election Officials: Your Local Election Official is the best person to contact if you have voting-related questions.  They'll be able to provide up-to-date information on rules and deadlines. 


Every person who shares helps us reach three more voters.