In January 2018, a new law began in West Virginia requiring voters to provide identification when they go to their polling place. While there are a few exceptions, voters should be prepared before heading out to cast their ballots.
There are a number of eligible documents that can be used for identification, both with and without photos. Either way, any ID shown for voting purposes must be valid and not expired. Here is a list of possible IDs that a person can use:
Acceptable Non-Photo Identification
- Voter Registration Card
- Medicare or Social Security Card
- Birth Certificate
- WV Hunting or Fishing License
- WV SNAP ID Card
- WV TANF program ID Card
- WV Medicaid ID Card
- Bank or Credit Card
- Utility Bill or Bank Statement issued within 6 months of the election date
- Health Insurance Card issued to the voter
Acceptable Photo Identification
- WV Driver’s License, Passport, Military or Government ID or any document issued by WV or US Government which has the voter’s name.
- Driver’s License issued by another state
- Student ID
- Concealed Carry Permit
The Voter ID Law does not apply to absentee-by-mail voting. There are also three exceptions to the law.
The first exception allows an adult who has known the voter for at least six months and who shows a photo ID with their name on it to sign an affidavit at the polling place to confirm the voter’s identity. Exception number two allows a voter to cast their ballot if the poll worker has known the voter for at least six months. The third exception involves residents at State Care Facilities. All of these exceptions and rules can be viewed at the West Virginia Secretary of State’s website.
The Secretary of State’s office has made provisions for voters who show up to vote without an ID and who do not fall under one of the exceptions. In that case, they will be provided with a provisional ballot. Before the canvass takes place the signature on the provisional ballot will be compared to the the voter registration signature. If the two match, the vote should count.