CHARLESTON, WV (NEWS RELEASE) – Secretary of State Mac Warner announced the launch a new program to educate the public on the state’s voter identification law, which goes into effect on January 1st.
The “Be Registered & Be Ready to Vote” campaign will help educate voters on the kinds of photo and non-photo identification required at the polls starting in 2018. The public campaign will also address exceptions and frequently asked questions.
“With some municipalities holding city elections at the beginning of the year, we want the public to be aware they will need to show some kind of identification to poll workers,” Secretary Warner said. “We want the process to be easy for our voters and to make clear that no voter will be turned away from a polling place because of lack of ID.”
Beginning January 1, 2018, voters must show a form of identification to vote in person during the early voting period or on Election Day in any election. Any ID shown for voting purposes must be valid and not expired (attachment).
The Secretary of State’s Election Division is working with county clerks to provide free photo IDs to registered voters who otherwise do not have one of the many forms of identifying documents.
The Secretary of State’s Office is also working with a diverse group of stakeholders to help develop the education campaign and to get the word out to the public about these changes, including distributing 40,000 rack cards across the state.
The stakeholder organizations include:
• West Virginia County Clerk’s Association
• West Virginia Association of Counties
• West Virginia Municipal League
• West Virginia Press Association
• West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services
• ACLU of West Virginia
• West Virginia Republican Party
• West Virginia Democratic Party
• West Virginia Mountain Party
• Libertarian Party of West Virginia
• NAACP West Virginia
• Herbert Henderson Office of Minority Affairs
• West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance
• West Virginia Citizen Action Group
• League of Women Voters of West Virginia
• Disability Rights of West Virginia
The West Virginia Legislature passed the Voter ID law in 2016 and former Governor Earl Ray Tomblin signed it into law.