Secretary of State Mac Warner announced today that all West Virginia voters will be able to vote absentee in the November General Election because of the COVID-19 emergency.

While we applaud this announcement as a step in the right direction, we urge Warner to again work with county clerks to mail absentee ballot applications to everyone ahead of the election.

Every registered West Virginia voter received an application for the spring primary elections, and in many cases the return postage was even prepaid. This time around, voters will have to go online or call to apply for a ballot.

Changing the policy from the primary to the general will only create confusion for voters and lead to lower participation. We should be encouraging West Virginians to participate in their democracy, not making it more confusing.

No one should have to choose between their safety and their right to vote. Today's announcement is an encouraging step, but more needs to be done to ensure every vote is cast.