Wednesday, September 02, 2020

Absentee voting, deadlines, and other election stuff

The general election is November 3, 2020, not so far away. Like in the primary election this year, you can choose to vote absentee in the general election in WV if you want to avoid the possibility of getting exposed to the coronavirus at the polls.

Unlike in the primary election, however, you will not automatically get a postcard with the application for you to complete to request an absentee ballot. This time you will have to get your own WV Absentee Ballot Application. You can either enter your request online at or you can download at  If you are at least 60 yrs old and need help downloading or printing an application for absentee ballot you can call WV Senior Legal Aid at 1.800.229.5068.

The official deadline for you to get your application for absentee ballot submitted is October 28, 2020. 

But there are practical concerns about the time it may take for your mailed application to arrive, so you risk missing that deadline if you cut it too close. According to the WV Secretary of State's office "Absentee applications received after October 28, even if postmarked, cannot be accepted by law." 

Your completed absentee ballot must be postmarked no later than November 3, 2020 to count. If you change your mind after receiving your absentee ballot and want to go vote in person, YOU SHOULD BRING YOUR ABSENTEE BALLOT WITH YOU to the polls. It must be destroyed there before you vote in person, or you'll have to vote a challenge ballot. It's complicated.

Another option to avoid crowds on election day is to early-vote in person. Early voting in person can be done from October 21 through October 31, check with your county courthouse for locations and times.

Older West Virginians, your vote is important. Your need to protect yourself from infection is important, too. Contact WV Senior Legal Aid at 1.800.229.5068 if you are at least 60 yrs old and have concerns or questions about election procedures or your rights.

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