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Deadline to be put on West Virginia ballot is Aug. 3

CHARLESTON — The deadline to qualify for and be placed on the 2020 general election ballot in November is Aug. 3, according to state law, Secretary of State Mac Warner said.

Candidates are encouraged to submit their signatures to the appropriate office for review as soon as possible. Upon receipt, election officials will review the voters’ names and signatures and confirm the validity of each based on voter registration records.

Early submission reduces the strain on county offices and provides candidates with more time to gather last-minute signatures if needed, Warner said.

Although gathering signatures historically involved person-to-person interactions, many candidates have turned to technology to reduce the need for in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said. Some safe and legal practices for gathering signatures include exhibiting the nominating certificates with required disclosures on a campaign website, social media page or by email and include instructions for voters to print the signature page, sign in their own handwriting and return by email or mail to the candidate.

The law does not permit voters to elecronically sign petitions, according to W.Va. Code 3-5-23(c), therefore, voters must sign the petitions in “their own proper handwriting, Warner said.

For basic information regarding the requirements and process for independent or minor party ballot access, please see W.Va. Code 3-5-23, 24, refer to page 17 of the 2020 Running for Office Guide and see the 2020 Petitions Signature Requirements chart.

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