Wednesday, April 27, 2022
Early voting for the 2022 WV primary election begins today and continues through Saturday, May 7
Early voting for the 2022 West Virginia primary election begins today and continues through Saturday, May 7. All 55 counties in West Virginia offer early voting and if you have never taken advantage of the opportunity, this may be the year to try it out. Early voting is a good way to assure your vote will count if your polling place has changed because of this year’s redistricting, or if you have had other changes, such as a street address or name change. Poll workers can help you update your status during the early voting period, a service which isn’t available on election day.
You may find that you are in a different state senate district, house district, or voting precinct this year. Every 10 years district lines are redrawn based on the results of the United States census. Districts must have close to equal populations and can’t discriminate based on race or ethnicity. Since districts were redrawn to account for population losses and shifts, your polling place may be an entirely different place than it was in the past.
The good news is that early voting not only allows you to avoid the potential waiting in line you might find on election day, but many counties have several convenient early voting polling places.
When you early vote, the procedure is the same as voting on election day. You go to the early voting polling place, tell the poll worker your name, and show valid, non-expired identification. It doesn’t necessarily have to have your picture on it. Many forms of ID are acceptable including your voter registration card, Medicare or Medicaid card, birth certificate, hunting or fishing license, bank card, and of course driver’s license, passport, or military ID. There are also exemptions to the requirement for identification, one of which is that the poll worker has known the voter for at least 6 months.
If you are registered as unaffiliated (an Independant) instead of a member of the Democrat, Libertarian, Mountain, or Republican party, then you must ask for the party’s ballot of your choice. Otherwise, you will be limited to voting for non-partisan issues such as different kinds of bonds or levies, and non-partisan offices like judge and board of education. It is important to remember when you identify yourself as unaffilliated/Independent, you have to say that you want a Democrat, Republican, Mountain, or Libertarian ballot. The poll worker is NOT supposed to say anything to you to help you remember this.
Information on the status of your individual voter’s registration, on the voting districts for the primary election, polling places, early voting locations (and times they are open), sample ballots, voter identification information, and more is available online at GoVoteWV.com or follow this link: https://sos.wv.gov/elections/Pages/GoVoteWV.aspx. If you can’t or don’t want to use the online tools, then you may also call your county clerk to ask for this information.