National Voter Registration Day will be observed throughout West Virginia today.
According to West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner, National Voter Registration Day is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrated on the fourth Tuesday of September. The purpose of NVRD is to create attention and interest in not only voter registration but also reminding residents to keep their voter registration updated.
NVRD was first observed in 2012. NVRD is part of National Voter Registration Month started initially by the National Association of Secretaries of State.
The West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office and the state’s 55 county clerks have been promoting voter registration throughout September. By the end of the month, Warner will have visited more than 30 counties and nearly two dozen high schools.
Warner has also used September to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the 26th Amendment that reduced the voting age from 21 to 18. The late U.S. Sen. Jennings Randolph, of West Virginia, is considered the “Father of the 26th Amendment.” The first 18-year-old to register to vote in 1972 was Ella Mae Thompson Haddix, now a retired school teacher living in Randolph County.
“The first step to participating in our democracy is being registered to vote,” Warner said. “If we can encourage eligible voters to register when they’re young, they are more likely to participate regularly in our election process.”
West Virginia has 1,124,195 eligible residents registered to vote.
Warner said eligible voters can now register to vote online anytime by going to a secure website at GoVoteWV.com. You can also visit your county clerk’s office to register in person. The Monongalia County Clerk’s Office is at 243 High St. in Courthouse Room 123 (monongaliacountyclerk.com). The Preston County Clerk’s Office is at 106 W. Main St, No. 103, Kingwood (prestoncountyclerkwv.com/).
“In West Virginia, we encourage citizens not to wait until election time to register to vote. Register now. If you need to update your voter registration, you can also do that right now online,” Warner said.