Opinion

W.Va. Secretary of State’s office needs to focus

An editorial from The Exponent Telegram

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — The past year has not been a good one for the Secretary of State’s office when it comes to several important matters.

In May, The Exponent Telegram reported that area county clerks were upset with the state agency because it hadn’t supplied change-of-address materials to send to voters who may have needed to update their registration.

While the agency put the blame on some county clerks for not supplying some needed information, area clerks said the Secretary of State’s office should have taken control of the situation and followed the federal mandate.

The goal of the rule is to keep voter registration rolls up-to-date, something we believe to be of great value in maintaining a strong, accurate election system.

Just last week, the agency again was in the public limelight for trying to charge fees to obtain public filings of businesses and organizations.

Requests for those filings would have been $5 if sent by mail, $10 if faxed and $1 per page (50 cents per additional page) if picked up in person at the Charleston office, The Associated Press reported.

While the agency quickly scrapped the plans after public outcry, the mere fact that it was considering such ideas shows a lack of regard for transparency, as well as poor organization within the agency…

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