State Fact Sheet

Election Websites: West Virginia

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Researchers assessed state election websites for the Pew Center on the States between May-November 2010, using detailed criteria evaluating the content, lookup tools, and usability. Websites may have changed since they were assessed. See methodology (PDF).

Strengths include:

  • Complete information about registering to vote, including eligibility, residency, registration forms and deadlines, public access to records, instructions for updating and confirming registration, and resources for people in special circumstances.
  • A detailed state candidate list that includes campaign finance data.
  • Complete information for military and overseas voters about how to register to vote, request absentee ballots, and obtain and use the emergency Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (provided in partnership with the Overseas Vote Foundation).
  • Extensive information about absentee voting, including eligibility, an application form and instructions, deadlines, and what to do if a ballot does not arrive, or is lost or damaged.
  • Useful election calendars and an election countdown clock.
  • Complete results for current and past elections, displayed with maps and as percentages, by county and by precinct.
  • Active voter outreach through social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.

Recommended improvements include:

  • Use a secure server for the lookup tools that require users to submit sensitive personal information (35 states offer).
  • Provide lookup tools that allow voters to view a sample ballot (22 states offer) and check the status of their absentee ballot (29 offer) or provisional ballot (19 offer).
  • Allow access to the polling place lookup tool by street address, instead of personal voter record information (27 states offer).
  • Ensure collapsing and expanding sections of the navigation behave consistently so that users know how to make the navigation bar show all of its links.
  • On the home page, move useful links for voters higher up on the screen so that they can easily find content they need.

Noteworthy Feature: West Virginia's website features a comprehensive and easy-to-read alphabetical list of municipal elections. It includes the dates of each municipality's primary and general elections, and the voting system each county uses.

Initial Quick Fix: Inform voters of the deadline for returning voted absentee ballots to local election offices (47 states offer).

Summary: West Virginia's website scores highly for content, but offers just two out of five recommended lookup tools. was assessed for content and lookup tools. was assessed for usability.

Media Contact

Kelly Hoffman