CHARLESTON – West Virginia is now in its final days of absentee and in-person early voting, and with Election Day just days away, Secretary of State Mac Warner wants voters who have not yet participated in this year’s election to feel safe and prepared to head to the polls on Tuesday, June 9.
"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.
Moving the Primary Election from May 12 to June 9 provided election officials with additional time to prepare to administer a safe election during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To inform and prepare voters to cast their ballots in-person on Election Day, Warner provides five tips:
1.Be prepared to be patient. The health and safety of poll workers and voters have been the primary concern at the state and county level when preparing for in-person voting. Poll workers and election officials at every precinct have been provided with personal protective equipment, hand sanitizer, gloves, and masks. Additionally, counties have trained poll workers on how to keep every location safe and secure 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 each other, which may make lines seem longer than normal. Voters should consider bringing a bottle of water, umbrella, or even a chair, if standing outside in hot or rainy weather is a concern.
2.Consider bringing a mask and marking utensil. Voters are encouraged to bring their own protective equipment. If you don't have a mask, many counties (but not all) will have masks available. Voters may also wear a bandanna or scarf, or simply pull their shirt over their mouth and nose when in the polling place to protect others. Voters may also bring their own stylus, pencil, or marking device. Remember that it is illegal to record the voting process inside a polling location, so please refrain from taking videos or photos while in the polling place.
3.Ensure your polling location hasn’t changed and review your sample ballot ahead of time. You can find your precinct and polling location changes at GoVoteWV.com. To reduce wait time, remember to review your county’s sample ballot before you go to your polling location. Sample ballots are also online at GoVoteWV.com.
4.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.
5.Watch for suspicious activity; if you see something, say something. Voters can help identify suspicious activity and potential fraud during the election by watching for things like people handing out slates or lists of candidates to voters, voters taking photos of their ballot for “proof” of how they voted, candidates inside the polling place, etc. 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 June 9 Primary Election, visit GoVoteWV.com.