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Former Secretary of State Natalie Tennant joins Brennan Center

Staff reports

The State Journal

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law announced April 4 that former WV Secretary of State Natalie Tennant had joined the Center as manager of state advocacy on voting rights and elections.

Natalie Tennant

Tennant, a Democrat, was first elected as Secretary of State in 2009 losing in 2016 to Republican Mac Warner.

“She will use that experience and expertise at the Brennan Center to help advance automatic registration legislation and policy initiatives in the states, as well as other reforms to improve the voter registration and voting process,” the news release states.

The Brennan Center noted West Virginia was among six states and the District of Columbia that approved automatic voter registration, describing the policy as “transformative,” and responsible for saving money, increasing accuracy and participation as well as curbing the potential for fraud.

“We have come to know and work with Natalie because of her strong advocacy for automatic voter registration,” said Myrna Pérez, deputy director of the Democracy Program. “We couldn’t be more excited that she will bring her skills in election administration, campaigning, and coalition-building to our efforts to pass automatic voter registration in the states.”

Tennant said she is “extremely honored” to join the Center and help advance its mission of preserving and expanding the right to vote.

“Improving our voter registration system will help millions of Americans sign up and participate in our great democracy,” Tennant said in a news release. “That’s what I helped achieve in West Virginia, and I’m excited to work with the Brennan Center to transform voter registration nationwide.”

During her time as Secretary of State, Tennant was appointed as a co-chair of the Standing Committee on Voter Participation, where she worked to improve communications between states regarding their voting practices. Before taking office, Tennant ran a small business and was a news anchor for more than 12 years. She received both her B.A. and Master’s degrees from West Virginia University where she was the first female Mountaineer.

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