CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More West Virginians are expected to register to vote online as the new year approaches, according to West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.
“I just anticipate even more usage,” Tennant said. “It’ll be even more successful than it is now.”
Tennant predicted the more candidates that announce their campaigns, the more people will become engaged in their new online voter registration (OVR) application system announced earlier this fall.
Last month, over 1,000 submissions were received via the Secretary of State’s website. Over 400 submissions were from new online voters. Tennant predicted the same numbers for the end of December.
“As I look at these numbers, it remains consistent that about 40 percent of those are brand new voter registration applications, which then tells me that the other 60 percent is split between address change, party change or name change,” Tennant said.
West Virginians from 54 out of 55 counties have used the new system. Pendleton County still remains without a single submission this month, Tennant noted.
As the holiday season continues into the new year with family gatherings this week, the Secretary of State’s Office is encouraging people to register online.
“Folks are registering at the same time. We’re seeing same last names, same addresses and we see the same time stamp when they’re coming through and applying to register to vote, so this is a great opportunity for families,” she said.
With West Virginia now being one of 26 states to offer online voter registration, Tennant said the new system goes “above and beyond” the paper application.
“It’s a sense of accomplishment and more importantly it’s a sense for the voters to say ‘this makes it easier for me to get registered,'” she said.
The deadline to register to vote in the Primary Election is Apr. 19, 2016.
Primary Election Day in West Virginia is May 10, 2016.