Tuesday is deadline to register to vote in 2022 Primary Election

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Political party leaders in West Virginia say it’s been a challenge to encourage more people to vote as the registration deadline quickly approaches.

Belinda Biafore

Tuesday is the last day to register to vote in the 2022 Primary Election.

Belinda Biafore, chair of the West Virginia Democratic Party, said there’s been a lot of confusion with redistricting statewide, but she doesn’t want that to deter voters from making their voices heard.

“People really need to be aware where their polling places are, make sure you call your local clerk, Secretary of State or state party to find out where you need to go,” she said.

The Secretary of State’s Office urges eligible voters to to register in one of three ways:

  1. Online at GoVoteWV.com using a valid West Virginia driver’s license or state-issued ID number.
  2. Mailing a paper application to their county clerk.
  3. In-person registration including at the public offices of the county clerk, Secretary of State, Division of Motor Vehicles, public assistance offices, agencies serving people with disabilities, and military recruiting agencies.

Officials said if a person is already registered, it’s important to update their current registration before Tuesday if they’ve moved to a different address, changed their name or wish to change their political party.

Biafore is reminding unaffiliated voters they can still submit primary ballots under the party of their choice.

“When they go in, they can ask for either a Democratic ballot or a Republican ballot in the primary. If you’re registered with the Mountain Party or other identified party, you have to vote their ballot,” she explained.

Races this year do not include presidential candidates. A key West Virginia race on the federal level is for the state’s new second congressional district. Incumbent Second District Congressman Alex Mooney (R-W.Va.) and First District Congressman David McKinley will face off for that seat.

Biafore said there are so many state and local races to pay attention to as well.

Mark Harris

“Even though it’s not a full ballot, there are still county clerks and circuit clerks on the ballot, there’s a county commissioner on the ballot. There are several levies in certain areas that are going to be determined and a lot of city council races,” she said.

West Virginia Republican Party Chairman Mark Harris said primary elections are important in determining the best candidates for the general election ballot.

“We think we’ve got the right ideas, right people to move America forward,” he told MetroNews. “Having said that, we care so much about what happens in May because we want to have good, strong Republicans to lead this state, so we encourage conservatives to turn out in record numbers so we can really get the right people leading the state in the right direction.”

Voting is a civic duty on so many levels, Biafore said.

“It’s important all the way around on any kind of legislation whether it’s health care, whether it’s the economy, whether it’s jobs,” she said. “The only way you’re going to make a difference is to vote and the only way you can vote is to go register.”

Information on voting districts for the Primary Election can be determined using the address lookup tool on the new WV Interactive Map for Voting Precincts & Districts. A link to the map tool is available at GoVoteWV.com.

Early voting runs from April 27 to May 7.

West Virginia’s Primary Election is May 10.

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