Recent Action on Vote by Mail in the WV Legislature
Delegate Evan Hansen (D-Monongalia) introduced a bill in the 2020 session of the Legislature to bring Vote by Mail (VBM) to West Virginia. The bill HB 4742 was co-sponsored by Del. Mike Pushkin (D-Kanawha), Del. Danielle Walker (D-Monongalia), Del. Sean Hornbuckle (D-Cabell), and Del. John Doyle (D-Jefferson).
HB 4742 drew from the best practices of states already conducting their elections using VBM:
History of Vote by Mail in WV
HB 4742 also relied on rules written by the WV Secretary of State to implement the WV Vote by Mail Pilot Program in 2011. That program permitted certain municipalities to adopt VBM for municipal elections for a few elections cycles.
Little information is available on the outcome of the pilot. We do know that Morgantown was one of the WV cities that used VBM successfully in its municipal elections. Voter participation increased and a progressive city council was replaced by a more conservative one. The new council discontinued the VBM initiative in Morgantown.
Members of the League of Women Voters testified before the Morgantown City Council to support the continuation of vote by mail in the city.
The city of Morgantown produced a brochure to explain vote by mail.