New law means voters have to show identification when casting their votes

TAYLOR COUNTY—With the passage of a new state law, West Virginia voters will now be required to show a form of identification when visiting the polls to cast their votes.

According to Taylor County Clerk Georgianna Thompson, the new law took effect on January 1, that requires that every voter in the state would need to show identification when voting in person, either on election day or during early voting.

“The only exception to this is when people are casting their votes through an absentee ballot, through the mail,” explained Thompson.

Thompson reported that voters have the option of providing a photo ID, such as a WV state issued driver’s license or ID card, a driver’s licenses issued from another state, their passport, a military ID or and United States or governmental employee card, as well as a student ID card or the voter’s concealed carry permit.

“Any ID shown must be valid and current,” noted Thompson. “No expired photo IDs will be accepted as a suitable form of identification.”

If a voter does not have any other form of photo identification, Thompson can issue a voter ID card.

“Voter ID cards will only be issued if the person does not have another form of photo ID. If someone is eligible, they can come to my office, and I issue them on the spot,” she reported.

The card will show the voter’s name, address, picture and voter identification number.

“I was worried that once the new law passed, we might have teenagers coming in to get their voter ID card to use in order to purchase beer or tobacco, but because the voter’s birthday is not present anywhere on the card, it cannot be used in that manner,” she shared.

In addition to photo ID, voters also have the option of providing one of the following accepted non-photo identifications: their voter registration card, Medicare or social security card, birth certificate, their bank or debit card, a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) ID card, a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) card, their Medicaid ID card, as well as, any other health insurance card issued to the voter.

Utility bills that have been issued in the name of the voter within the past six months of the election will also be accepted as a form of non-photo identification.

Thompson reported that there are a couple exceptions to the new voter ID law.

One of the exceptions states that if a voter without some form of identification is accompanied to the polling place by an adult, who has known them for at least six months prior to the election date, they will be able to cast their ballot following the confirmation of their identification.

“The person vouching for the voter will have to fill out and sign an affidavit confirming the voter’s identification,” disclosed Thompson.

In addition, if a voter shows up at the polls without the proper documentation but is known by a poll worker, who has known them for at least six months, they will be permitted to vote.

The third and final exception to the new law involves residents of state care facilities. The law states that if the person residing in the state care facility’s polling place is the same facility, they will be permitted to vote without having to provide further identification.

Thompson also revealed that her office is currently looking for poll workers.

“I know of some poll workers that will not be eligible to work this year, because their desire to run for one of the positions up for bid,” she said. “Per WV Code 3-1-28, for an individual to be eligible to work the polls, he or she cannot be a candidate on the ballot.”

She went on to explain that poll workers are first chosen from lists provided by executive committees, but after those workers have been assigned positions, she can start pulling from her list of interested individuals.

“If someone is interested in becoming a poll worker I urge them to contact our office by phone at 304-265-1401, or by stopping in to the courthouse,” commented Thompson.


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