Charleston, W.Va. – Five towns in West Virginia will conduct the early voting for their municipal elections by mail, Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant announced today.
Bethany, Harrisville, Paw Paw, Thurmond, and West Hamlin will all be part of a pilot program that passed the state legislature in 2009.
Morgantown is also taking part in the pilot program, but is conducting their entire April general election by mail. In Morgantown, every registered city voter will receive their ballot by mail. But in the five smaller municipalities that are conducting only early voting by mail, registered voters must request a ballot. There will also still be regular polling places open on election day.
The voting process will be similar to absentee voting.
Voters will mark their ballot, and then place the ballot into two envelopes and sign across the seal. That signature will be used by election workers to confirm the voter’s identity and prevent fraud.
“This is an excellent opportunity for smaller towns in West Virginia to implement a plan that will help them save taxpayer money but still guarantee citizens their right to cast a ballot,” Secretary Tennant said. “I’m pleased that these six towns, which are from all around West Virginia, are willing to try new ideas.”
Once early voting is over, the ballots cast by mail will be counted with the ballots cast on election day.
Election workers must also attend training conducted by the Secretary of State’s Office.