West Virginia was originally part of Virginia until it decided to break away during the 1861 Wheeling Conventions. It joined the Union in 1863, becoming the 35th state of the US.
According to statistics from the Department of Justice, as of end-December 2015 there were 7,118 prisoners under the jurisdiction of West Virginia correctional authorities. Of these, 6,253 were men and 865 were women.
Voting is an important right and privilege that everyone has to exercise because it gives citizens a say in the way their government is run. On the local level they can vote for policies that directly influence their daily lives.
Can Felons Vote in West Virginia?
In West Virginia, a felon who is incarcerated or under parole or probation may not vote. Once their sentence has been served, however, their voting rights are automatically restored.
Once they qualify, released felons don’t have to apply to have their rights restored. All they have to do is register in the county where they reside.
Felons also have to meet other requirements to register, such as being a resident of the state. In addition, they have to be at least seventeen and can vote only if they turn eighteen before the following General Election.
You can register to vote at any time. If you wish to vote in a particular election, however, you have to register at least 21 days before it is held.
How Felons Can Restore Voting Rights in West Virginia
You can register to vote online, but you will need to have a driver’s license or ID card and the last four digits of your Social Security number. The county clerk will inform you of the status of your application.
If you don’t have the required ID and Social Security number, your form may not be submitted online. However, you can auto-fill the online form and print it out for submission to the county clerk in person or by mail.
You can also register in person at the DMV, the county clerk’s office and the secretary of state’s office. Military recruitment agencies and marriage license offices also accept voter registration.
First time registrants and those who have not yet voted in a federal election must present a valid ID when they register or vote that includes their current address and name. acceptable IDs include bank statements and utility bills.