Absentee voters be ware: Skipping this step can make your vote not count

West Virginia Headlines

Remember, every vote counts. Let’s make sure yours does.

MARSHALL COUNTY, W.VA. (WTRF) — The mass use of absentee voting for this weighty election has put many on edge, including the President. But in West Virginia county clerks say tampering with your vote is near impossible since it comes directly from the voter’s initiative.  

But absentee voters be ware, you can skip some vital steps that make your vote invalid and a Marshall County clerk says they’re already questioning some ballots. 

You receive two envelopes inside with a ballot. The envelope with the precinct number is what you put your ballot in. 

This is the envelope that you’re supposed to mail back, and there’s a big X where you’re supposed to put your name… And people just don’t read.

Jan Pest, Marshall County Clerk

The biggest problem is… people not signing. 

You have a signature on record from being a registered voter. The comparison of your signature is what lets that clerk’s office know YOU are YOU… Which vets voter fraud. 

When they don’t sign then we try to reach them by phone or try to have them come to the courthouse to sign. If we can’t get ahold of them then it has to be a provisional ballot and it goes to the board of canvassers after the election.

Jan Pest, Marshall County Clerk

The ballots rolling in are sorted by precincts, and according to the Marshall County Clerk, not opened until election day along with all the others. 

Because of the ease of not having to stand in line, rush to fill in the dots, Pest believes that in the next legislative session, there will be a bill to have ‘no fault absentee voting’… whereas in years past you would’ve had needed a valid excuse to vote absentee. 

But with almost 500 people registering to vote in Marshall County since the primary, this contentious election season has been both a big draw of new voters and in the same cast, put people on guard. 

 It has made it much harder because people are so suspicious… We’ve always had absentee balloting, not to this degree. West Virginia laws are very strict. If the county clerks follow them, and the staff follows them, you’d have to have a conspiracy to fraudulently vote.

Jan Pest, Marshall County Clerk

Absentee Registration cutoff is October 28th. The cutoff to register to be a voter in West Virginia is October 13th

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