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W.Va. Secretary of State to present ‘Jennings Randolph School’ designation

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Secretary Warner will begin a statewide tour to recognize high schools who have achieved the Jennings Randolph School designation starting Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Mac Warner, Secretary of State

His first stop will be at Man High School in Logan County at 8:30 a.m. He will then travel to St. Joseph Central Catholic High School in Cabell County for a presentation there at 2:45 p.m.

A “Jennings Randolph School” is a designation given to a high school that is successful in registering 100 percent of its eligible students during the school year. The award is named for the late U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph from Harrison County, the father of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which gave adults age 18 through 20 the right to vote.

While many high schools are active in voter registration programs with their local county clerk, less than 20 receive the “Jennings Randolph School” award.

“Congratulations to all the schools and students who have worked so hard to see their fellow classmates register to vote,” Warner said. “The Jennings Randolph Award is proof that high school students are interested in civic engagement and want to participate in our democracy.”

In 1942 as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, then Congressman Randolph first introduced the 26th Amendment to the United States Constitution. Randolph introduced legislation to create the 26th Amendment in 11 different sessions of Congress over a period of 29 years. During the height of the Vietnam War and with public sentiment on Randolph’s side, Congress passed the 26th Amendment on March 23, 1971. The amendment was ratified July 5th of that year.

Secretary Warner made cleaning up voter registration files a priority for his office. In less than 100 days in office and by working closely with the state’s 55 county clerks, Warner’s administration has taken 50,949 voter registrations off the books – a combination of outdated files, duplicates and convicted felons who lost their right to vote.

In that same 100 days, a total of 11,421 new voters have been registered. That number includes 790 high school juniors and seniors who are now eligible to vote.

“To begin the process of restoring the general public’s confidence in our election process, we have to start with accurate voter files in every county,” Secretary Warner said. “Not only are we taking old, outdated files off the list, we’re adding real live voters to voter files all over the state,” he said.

Here is the list of schools who have earned the designation for the 2016-17 school year:

•    Hedgesville High School – Berkeley County*
•    Sherman High School – Boone County*
•    Scott High School – Boone County*
•    St. Joseph Central High School – Cabell County*
•    Meadow Bridge High School – Fayette County
•    Valley High School – Fayette County
•    Fayetteville High School – Fayette County
•    Midland Trail High School – Fayette County
•    Ravenswood High School – Jackson County*
•    Charleston Catholic High School – Kanawha County*
•    Man High School – Logan County
•    Mount View High School – McDowell County
•    Nicholas County High School – Nicholas County*
•    Independence High School – Raleigh County*
•    Buffalo High School – Putnam County*

*These schools are also Inspire-WV program schools.

According to Secretary Warner, the Jennings Randolph certificate will be awarded to each school with the challenge to remain a Jennings Randolph School for years to come. County clerks will also attend the presentations.

“County clerks are the chief elections official of each county and they maintain the voter file for that county. We encourage high school principals, teachers and students alike to reach out to your county clerk to help plan your voter registration drive,” Warner said.

For more information on the presentation dates for all of the schools listed, please contact Mike Queen in the Secretary of State’s Office at 304-368-6339.

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