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Voting Issues in West Virginia

MARCH 2020

• West Virginia: Republican Secretary of State Mac Warner GOP made an unexpected announcement late last month that West Virginia would not implement a bipartisan-backed change to let military, overseas, and disabled voters vote online by smartphone in the upcoming May primary, citing security concerns. Instead, those voters can print out paper ballots they can mail in. It's unclear if this change will be made for the general election, too.



• West Virginia: Republican Gov. Jim Justice has signed a new law that legislators unanimously passed to enable voters with certain disabilities to vote over the internet via smartphone app or their computer, an option that was already available for military and overseas voters. Lawmakers said they feared failing to enact such legislation would have left the state vulnerable to a lawsuit given that some voters are unable to cast a paper ballot without assistance.

However, election security advocates have warned that any type of internet-based voting is potentially vulnerable to hacking. Other states have adopted methods of voting accessible to people with disabilities that don't pose this same risk, such as certain voting machines that print a ballot and aren't connected to the internet or mobile polling places for mobility-impaired voters.