September is National Voter Registration Month
By Mac Warner
WV Secretary of State
Since 2002, the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) has recognized September as National Voter Registration Month to encourage eligible Americans to register to vote or to update their voter registration information. The WV Secretary of State’s Office is proud to join NASS in this annual effort.
West Virginia has a long and proud history with voter registration. The Mountain State played a key role in the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 which guaranteed women the right to vote. In addition, after a 29-year effort led by our late United States Senator Jennings Randolph, in 1971 Congress passed and the states ratified the 26th Amendment that reduced the voting age from 21 to 18.
Since taking office in January 2017, West Virginia has gained national attention in our effort to refine our voter registration file to be more representative of the actual eligible voting population in the history of our state. Working with all 55 county clerks, we’ve been able to eliminate more than 345,000 deceased, duplicate, out-of-state, outdated, and currently under conviction felon voter files from our voter registration list of just over 1.1 million registered voters.
Our office will use the entire month of September to work with County Clerks and high schools to encourage eligible West Virginians to register to vote. Our Field Representatives will be working with county clerks to host numerous public events and school visits during the month. September is also a good time before the November 8 General Election to encourage those already registered to be sure that their voter registration is accurate.
Voting is a right guaranteed to every eligible citizen. But you must be properly registered. In West Virginia, we’re making it easy, safe and secure to register online and in person.
Over the last six years with my administration working closely with the state’s County Clerks, more than 297,000 eligible West Virginians have been registered to vote. That number includes more than 85,000 high school students.
Those are incredible numbers given the small size of our state. Our efforts to make it easy to register and easy to vote in West Virginia have been recognized throughout the nation.
Today, eligible voters can register online anytime by going to the WV Secretary of State’s safe and secure website at www.GoVoteWV.com. Eligible voters can also register to vote in person by going to their local County Clerk’s office.
Or, you can call your County Clerk to request that a paper Voter Registration Form be mailed to you. You can also find a County Clerk’s Directory at www.GoVoteWV.com.
National Voter Registration Day is Tuesday, September 20.
My office is working with many of our County Clerks to host a voter registration drive outside of their courthouse that day to bring awareness to National Voter Registration Month. We want every eligible West Virginian to be registered and ready for the upcoming November General Election.
– Mac Warner is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, WVU College of Law, and a Master’s Degree recipient from UVA Law School. He has over 35 years of public service in the Department of Defense, the US State Department, and WV State Government. He was first elected WV Secretary of State in 2016 and then re-elected in 2020.