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Court Orders West Virginia County Clerk to Follow the Law and Accept Online Voter Registrations

A federal court has ordered the clerk of Cabell County, West Virginia, to immediately begin accepting voter registration forms submitted online, after the American Civil Liberties Union filed suit last week. Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole has been refusing to process online applications, citing -- without evidence -- concerns about proof of identification.

West Virginia permits online voter registration statewide, with completed forms sent to county clerks for processing. West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant has said that measures are in place to prevent fraudulent applications. More than 31,000 West Virginians registered to vote online through early October.

The voter registration deadline for the Nov. 8 general election has already passed, but West Virginians who want to vote in future elections can now register online in all 55 of West Virginia's counties.

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Portrait of Derek Willis

Derek Willis

Derek Willis is a news applications developer at ProPublica, focusing on politics and elections.

About Electionland

ProPublica’s Electionland project covers problems that prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots during the 2020 elections. Our coalition of newsrooms around the country are investigating issues related to voter registration, pandemic-related changes to voting, the shift to vote-by-mail, cybersecurity, voter education, misinformation, and more.

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