Essential reporting in volatile times.

Click here to stay informed and subscribe to The Charleston Gazette-Mail.

Click #isupportlocal for more information on supporting our local journalists.

Learn more about HD Media

Wednesday is the last day to turn in an application for an absentee ballot in West Virginia for the 2020 general election.

With six days until voting ends this election cycle, absentee ballot applications must be in the hands of county clerks before local courthouses close Wednesday for voters to receive their absentee ballots.

Secretary of State Mac Warner on Tuesday said it was too late for voters to mail their absentee ballot applications to their county clerks’ offices and meet the deadline to vote.

All West Virginia voters are eligible to vote absentee this year because of a special rule put in place amid the state of emergency Gov. Jim Justice issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Tuesday, 241,460 West Virginians had voted during the 2020 general election, Warner said. Of those who have voted so far, 114,059 people have voted using absentee ballots, and 126,147 people cast their ballots in person during the early voting period.

Another 1,254 people had voted electronically, a service that is narrow in availability for people who have limited physical means to vote in person.

People who want to vote absentee still have three options to get their applications to their clerks’ offices: turning them in in person, faxing them or completing them online.

Absentee ballot applications are available in county clerks’ offices and on the secretary of state’s website.

Registered voters may download the application from the website, print it out and either fax it to their local county clerk’s office or hand it in at the clerk’s office.

The secretary of state’s online portal to apply for absentee ballots also will be open through Wednesday.

County clerks have discretion as to how late in the day they will accept the applications — some county clerks will accept online absentee ballot applications until midnight, while others won’t accept them after the close of the business day. Voters can call their county clerks to find out their local cut-off time.

To check the status of an absentee ballot application or the ballot itself, visit the secretary of state’s website or call your county clerk’s office.

Absentee ballots can either be mailed back to voters’ local county clerks’ offices or returned directly to those offices in person.

Absentee ballots that are mailed back must be postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by county clerks before local county commissions begin canvassing the election on Nov. 9 to be counted.

Early voting in person will take place every day this week during local courthouse business hours, which varies from county to county. The last day of early voting will be Saturday.

Election Day is Tuesday. Voting hours will be from 6:30 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Election Day. Anyone in line to vote at their local precinct by 7:30 p.m. will be able to vote.

Reach Lacie Pierson at


.com, 304-348-1723 or follow @laciepierson on Twitter.