Five things every WV voter should know before voting in-person
West Virginia is now halfway complete with in-person early voting, and Secretary of State Mac Warner wants voters who have not yet participated in this year’s election to feel safe and prepared as they go to the polls. Early voting ends Saturday, Oct. 31 (tomorrow), and Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
“Voting in-person at a polling location supervised by both major parties and managed by experienced poll workers where every voter is guaranteed the right to cast a secret ballot is the gold standard in voting throughout the world,” Warner said. “The options we’ve provided make it safe and easy to vote, so now is the time for voters to make a plan, and go vote.”
To prepare voters to cast their ballots in-person, Secretary Warner provides the following five tips:
• Be prepared and be patient. The health and safety of poll workers and voters is a top priority for in-person voting. We have provided election officials at every precinct with personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks. County clerks have trained poll workers on how to keep every location safe by spacing voters, keeping voting machines separate, and designing polling locations according to state and federal health official guidelines. Voters will be asked to maintain at least 6 feet from those around them to comply with social distancing, which may make lines seem longer than normal. Voters should consider bringing a bottle of water, umbrella, or even a chair, depending on weather conditions.
• Bring a mask. The Governor’s Executive Order 50-20 requires face coverings while indoors. Please bring your personal mask, bandanna, scarf, and other protective equipment as needed to protect yourself and others in the polling place. Voters may also bring their own stylus, pencil, or marking device. If you don’t have a face covering, one may be provided upon request.
Importantly, no voter may be turned away at the polls. If you have trouble, please call your county clerk or the Secretary of State’s Office at 304-558-6000 or 1-877-FRAUD-WV. Phone traffic on Election Day may be high, so please leave a message or email Elections@wvsos.gov with your name, number, and summary of your issue and an employee will contact you as soon as possible.
• Review your sample ballot ahead of time and check on your polling location. You can find your sample ballot, precinct, and polling location at GoVoteWV.com.
Remember, it is illegal to record the voting process inside a voting booth, so please do not take pictures or videos while voting.
• Bring identification. West Virginia law requires voters to provide one of many forms of valid identification when casting a ballot in person. Voter ID does not have to include a photo but must show the voter’s name. Click here for a list of all the acceptable forms of Voter ID and more information on exceptions to the requirement.
• Watch for suspicious activity; if you see something, say something. Voters are the “eyes and ears” of the election process. You can help identify suspicious activity and potential fraud by watching for voter intimidation and suppression (such as forcing slates on voters), voters taking photos of their ballot for “proof” of how they voted, and people campaigning inside the polling locations.
Report this type of activity to the Secretary of State’s toll-free Election Fraud Tip Line at 877-FRAUD-WV.
For more information on the Nov.3 General Election, visit GoVoteWV.com.