West Virginia absentee and mail ballot guide
West Virginia absentee ballot overview
Absentee ballots and mail ballots are the same thing, and the process for getting one is straight forward.
- Request your ballot by the deadline
- Receive your in ballot in the mail
- Return your ballot by the deadline
West Virginia absentee deadlines
- Earliest day to apply: January 1
- Request deadline (online): 6 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (by mail): Received 6 days before Election Day
- Request deadline (in person): 6 days before Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (by mail): Postmarked by Election Day
- Deadline to return your ballot (in person): Received by 1 day BEFORE Election Day
West Virginia absentee ballot rules
You may vote using an absentee ballot in West Virginia if:
- you have an illness, injury, disability, or another medical issue that makes it hard to vote in person
- you are elderly
- you have to work during polling hours
- you will be away from home on Election Day and during the early voting period
- you are a student attending school outside of your county
- you are currently incarcerated or under home detention but have not been convicted of any felony, treason, or election bribery
West Virginia online ballot request (recommended)
- Visit the West Virginia absentee ballot website.
- Fill out all of the required information.
- Hit save or submit when you are done.
- The deadline to apply online is: 6 days before Election Day.
West Virginia by-mail ballot request
- Download the West Virginia absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Print the application.
- Sign and date your application. This is very important.
- Mail or hand-deliver your completed application directly to your local election office as soon as possible, but no later than the deadline.
- If it’s close to the deadline, call your local election office and see if they will let you submit your application via email or fax.
- The deadline to apply by mail is: Received 6 days before Election Day.
West Virginia in-person ballot request
- Visit your local election office.
- Ask the clerk to give you an absentee ballot application.
- Fill out all of the required fields.
- Sign and date your application.
- The deadline to apply in person is: 6 days before Election Day.
After you receive your ballot
- Carefully read and follow the instructions, and fill out all required fields.
- Sign and date the outside envelope.
- Mail or hand-deliver your ballot to your local election office. You can also hand-deliver your ballot to a state-provided drop box. Please check with your local election office if your county has a drop box. You can use our Find Out Where To Vote tool to find an official drop box.
- If you mail your ballot, it must be postmarked by Election Day.
- If you hand-deliver your ballot, it must be received by 1 day BEFORE Election Day.
- If you miss the deadline – or forget to sign the outside envelope – your vote will not be counted.
West Virginia absentee ballot ID requirements
- ID required when requesting a mail-in ballot: * Online application: you must provide your West Virginia driver's license number, state ID number, or the last 4 digits of your social security number. * Paper application: the signature on your absentee ballot application will be compared to the signature on your voter registration card to ensure they match.
- ID required when returning a mail-in ballot: Your voted ballot must be signed by one witness who is at least 18 years old. Additionally, if you are a first time voter you must send a copy of a valid photo ID that shows your name and address. If you do not have a valid ID, you can send a copy of a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or other official government document that contains your name and address.
Local election office
Contact your local election office if you have questions.
Statewide election office
This is the statewide agency that is ultimately responsible for West Virginia elections. You can contact them with questions, but your local election office will probably respond faster.
Secretary of State Building 1, Suite 157‐K 1900 Kanawha Blvd. East Charleston, WV 25305‐0770
- West Virginia online voter registration
- West Virginia online absentee ballot request
- West Virginia voter status lookup
- West Virginia absentee ballot tracker
- West Virginia provisional ballot tracker
- West Virginia polling place locator