Thousands request absentee ballots online in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — More than 15,000 West Virginia voters have requested absentee ballots for the November general election through an online portal a week after it was launched, the secretary of state’s office said.

The portal, the first for West Virginia elections, lets registered voters request an absentee ballot entirely online. In addition to the online requests, county clerks have received more than 7,300 absentee ballot applications in the mail or in person, Secretary of State Mac Warner said in a news release.

Absentee ballots will be mailed starting Sept. 18. Warner said they should be returned as soon as possible because of the expected increase in absentee ballot volume.

The last day to request an absentee ballot is Oct. 28.

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 13. The in-person early voting period runs from Oct. 21 to 31, and the election is Nov. 3.