Mover's Guide: West Virginia

August 10, 2010

I moved from the address at which I am registered.  What should I do?

I moved from another state.

If you moved to West Virginia from another state, you must register to vote in West Virginia to be able to vote.[1]  The last day to register in time to vote in the next election is twenty-one days before the election.[2]

If you moved from out of state, you may register to vote the same day you become a resident of the State of West Virginia.  And, under federal law, if you move within thirty days of a presidential election, you are allowed to vote for President and Vice President in your former state of residence, either in person or by absentee ballot.[3]

I moved within West Virginia.

If you moved to a new address within the same county, you may file a request for change of address by completing and signing a change of address form.[4]  You can do this on Election Day.[5]  If you moved to a new address in a different county, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records.[6]  That form is available here:http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/historyresource/Documents/wvvoterregistr...

The election is right around the corner and I never updated my registration from my previous address.  What should I do?

If you moved to a new address within the same county since you last voted, you should contact your local election office to determine whether your registration is current and to find out the location of your current polling place.  Election officials may have changed your registration record to reflect your new address even if you did not notify the election official about the move.  If your registration information has been changed to your current address, you should go to the polling place associated with that address to vote.

Many registered West Virginia voters who move are still entitled to cast a ballot that will be counted — even if they did not notify the appropriate election official about their move before Election Day and the election official has not changed their registration.

Scenario One: New Address, but Same Polling Place

If you moved to a new address that is covered by the same polling place as your old address, you can vote a regular ballot at that polling place after confirming your change of address at the polling place.[7]  This is true regardless of how close to the election you moved.

Scenario Two: New Address in Same County but New Polling Place

If you moved to a new address within the same county but with a different polling place, you are entitled to vote a challenged or provisional ballot at the polling place associated with your new address after updating your registration address.[8]  You will be required to sign an affidavit of change of address at that polling place.[9]  Your provisional ballot will be counted if you were registered within the county and no other challenge was made to your eligibility.[10]

Scenario Three: New Address in New County

If you moved to a new address in a different county in the state, you should complete a new registration form to update your registration records with the new address.[11]


[1] W. Va. Code Ann. § 3-1-3 (West 2010).

[2] W. Va. Code Ann. § 3-2-6(a).

[3] 42 U.S.C. § 1973aa-1(e) (2010).

[4] W. Va. Code Ann. § 3-2-22(a).

[5] See W. Va. Code Ann. § 3-2-31(b)–(c).

[6] See W. Va. Code Ann. §§ 3-2-2, 3-2-6 (transfer of registration); see also West Virginia Secretary of State, Voter Registration Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/voter-information-center/voter-registration-center/Pages/VoterRegistrationFAQ.aspx (last visited June 4, 2010).

[7] W. Va. Code Ann. § 3-2-31(b) (West 2010).

[8] W. Va. Code Ann. § 3-2-31(c).

[9] W. Va. Code Ann. § 3-2-22(a)(6).

[10] W. Va. Code Ann. § 3-2-31(c).

[11] See W. Va. Code Ann. §§ 3-2-2, 3-2-6 (transfer of registration); see also West Virginia Secretary of State, Voter Registration Frequently Asked Questions, http://www.sos.wv.gov/elections/voter-information-center/voter-registration-center/Pages/VoterRegistrationFAQ.aspx (last visited June 4, 2010).