CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick says after concerns expressed by the Kanawha County Commission and assurances from the secretary of state’s office, her office began accepting online voter registrations over the weekend, no questions asked.
McCormick began questioning the new process last fall, which was an option she had under a new state. She added the extra step of having those who registered online to provide more information by mail.
McCormick, a Republican, tells 580WCHS her office continues to receive those postcards each day and believes more than 98 percent of those originally sent out will be returned. McCormick says she’s glad she exercised her option to seek more information.
“I’m running this office by the law and I’m going to protect the records of our citizens,” McCormick said. “That’s the way we run our office and I’ll continue to do that and I think that’s what the voters expect of me.”
Kanawha County Democratic Party Chair Elaine Harris issued a statement Tuesday expressing concern about the process.
“It’s unacceptable for anyone to do anything that hinders one’s right to vote. If it is a simple misunderstanding, let’s get it cleared up for now and in the future,” Harris said.
There’s no misunderstanding, McCormick said. She believes there have been “glitches” in the secretary of state’s online registration and she wasn’t comfortable in completing the process until she got more information from those who registered online.
“I have not changed by position on that. I still have my concerns,” she said.
McCormick’s office has given additional notice to dozens of voters to get their information submitted.
If there are problems on election day voters still have an option, McCormick said.
“If somebody goes in and they’re not in the precinct book then they vote provisional ballot,” she said.
Cabell County Clerk Karen Cole was the only other county clerk in the state to request additional information from online registrants.