Voter Registration in West Virginia
You've probably heard the phrase, "You don't know what you got 'til it's gone." As grammatically tacky as it may sound, it's true. The same applies to your right to vote. Many people opt not to vote for a variety of reasons including apathy, being "too busy" to stop by the polls, and even laziness; yet, we become much more aware of the importance of our right to vote once it is taken away. Voting is important and should not be viewed as simply a right―it should also be viewed as a civic duty.
In the Mountain State, you can register to vote at your local Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office.
Before you head out to register, make sure you are eligible to vote in West Virginia:
- You must be a United States citizen and reside in West Virginia
- You must not be deemed "mentally incompetent" by the court
- You must not be under felony (including treason and election bribery) conviction, probation, or parole
- You must be age 18 or older (you may vote at age 17 in the primary if you will turn 18 before the general election)
The voter registration process with the WV DMV is simple. Go to your local DMV office, ask for a voter registration form, fill it out, hand it in, and leave. All registration forms are handled by your County Clerk in the end, so you won't need to take any forms to verify identification or residence, and since voting is a free process, you won't be charged any registration fees.
You might want to save some time by downloading, printing and completing the voter registration form at home.
Since your handwritten signature must be in the signature box, voter registration forms can't be submitted electronically. You can submit your registration form by mail, though.
In West Virginia, you must register 21 days before the date of the election for which you intend to vote. The Secretary of State website provides an updated calendar of election dates for your convenience.
If you legally change your name or move within the same county, you may update your registration information one of four ways:
- Visit any registration office, including your local DMV office or County Clerk.
- Submit a new mail-in voter registration form.
- If you're still within the same precinct, update your information at your local polling place.
- If you're no longer in the same precinct, update your information at your new polling place.
If you move to another county, you must go through the registration process again for that county.
If you're new to West Virginia, check out our special New to Your State section for more information.
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