Opinion

Time for a turnaround in voter turnout

An editorial from The Register-Herald

BECKLEY, W.Va. — Voter turnout in West Virginia continues on an overall downward trajectory.

The records at the Secretary of State’s Office show that in 2006, the percentage of eligible voters who participated in the midterm primary that year was 26 percent. In the fall general election, the rate was 44 percent.

In 2010, turnout sagged to 24 percent during the midterm primary and 42 percent in the general election.

In 2012, West Virginia’s percentage of voter participation rose in the general election to 47 percent. The problem is, that number was the lowest voter turnout percentage in the nation.

We just haven’t been voting as regularly as we should.

The fall election this November is a ways off, but thinking about voter participation in that election is not.

September is National Voter Registration Month. As Raleigh County Deputy County Clerk Cecilia Chapman puts it: “If people don’t like what’s happening, they need to get out and vote.”

Or, she adds, if you like your incumbent representative, you need to make sure he or she gets your vote in order to stay on the job.

Chapman says she has seen higher numbers of registered voters. The problem is, they apparently aren’t registering in order to go to the polls.

Many of the newly registered voters are signing up to have a second form of identification to obtain a driver’s license…

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