On Tuesday, Aug. 11, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office launched a new option for accommodating the increased interest in absentee voting because of the pandemic. The easy-to-use online portal is a first for West Virginia elections. It allows registered voters to request an absentee ballot entirely online and can be found at GoVoteWV.com.

According to Secretary of State Mac Warner, as of today, more than 15,000 voters have already used the portal to request an absentee ballot for the 2020 General Election. Another 7,348 applications have been received in the mail or in-person by county clerks.

“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.”

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

Absentee ballots will start going in the mail to voters on Sept. 18. Registered voters who wish to submit a paper application may print the form from GoVoteWV.com, then mail, fax, or email the completed application to his or her county clerk. A voter may also contact their county clerk for assistance in obtaining 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 reminds citizens that the last day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 28. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 13. Eligible citizens may register to vote online anytime at GoVoteWV.com.

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