ACLU Sues West Virginia Clerk for Refusing to Accept Online Voter Registrations


The American Civil Liberties Union this week recently a West Virginia county clerk for refusing to accept and process online voter registrations.

State law provides for online voter registration, and all other West Virginia counties accept it save for Cabell County, where County Clerk Karen Cole has balked at allowing it.

“Cabell County residents should have the same voter registration options as all other West Virginians, but this one clerk is denying them that opportunity,” said Joseph Cohen, executive director of the ACLU of West Virginia. “As the county’s chief registration authority, Karen Cole is responsible for establishing procedures that ensure full implementation of state and federal voter registration rules. Instead, she is in violation of those rules.”

The online voter registration program mirrors the paper voter registration card that is used throughout the state. A person can only use the online system to register if they already have a West Virginia driver’s license or state identification card, and have their signature on file with the state division of Motor Vehicles or another approved state database. Tens of thousands of West Virginians have already utilized the system in order to register.

The case was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia/Huntington Division. It cites violations of the federal and state Constitutions.

The complaint is at:

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