CHARLESTON, WV (WVNS) – With the November general election approaching next week, the West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) is reminding people that West Virginia law prohibits campaign signs on all state rights-of-way. This is one of many voting laws that surround election season, and you may not know all of them.
Plenty of election rules and laws exist both statewide and federally that are enforced whether they are known or not.
WVDOT workers around the state remove any campaign signs found on state rights-of-way pursuant to state law. Confiscated signs will be temporarily stored at county highway offices for retrieval by candidates or their representatives. Violation of the law prohibiting campaign signs on state rights-of-way is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $25 to $100 per day. Violators are also subject to reimbursing the WVDOT for the cost of removing the signs.
Here are other rules and regulations about voting season that apply to our area.
- West Virginians can vote even if they are in jail. You can only vote if you are charged with a misdemeanor or you are still awaiting trial. If you have been convicted of a felony, you lose the right to vote until your full sentence is complete and you re-register.
- Electioneering is prohibited within 100 feet of the entrance to any designated polling place in West Virginia. This means that anyone encouraging political activity like candidates, media, or lobbyists are prohibited from being or advertising near a polling location.
- Voters in line at a polling location when it closes must still be allowed to vote.
- In 2018, West Virginia became the first state to authorize voting by mobile devices in federal and state elections. The program, restricted to overseas military service members, launched on March 23, 2018. The mobile application used in the process, Voatz, requires a user to register by taking a photo of a form of government-issued identification and a video of his or her face and uploading these to the application
Even more less known rules and regulations exist for elections inside and outside West Virginia. You can read more of them in the state code or on voting regulation sites like Ballotpedia.org.