CHARLESTON, W.Va. — County clerks are ramping up efforts to get West Virginians registered to vote.
Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day.
To celebrate the day, Secretary of State Mac Warner visited St. Albans High School in Kanawha County as well as Buffalo and Winfield High Schools in Putnam County. He was joined by Kanawha County Clerk Vera McCormick and Putnam County Clerk Brian Wood.
Warner said it’s the perfect time to increase their voter registration numbers with it being an off year ahead of 2022 and that lawmakers are redrawing state district lines.
“A lot of changes are going to go on with single member districts, we’re losing a congressional seat, the Census is out. That’s a lot of moving parts,” Warner said on Monday’s “580 Live” heard on MetroNews affiliate 580-WCHS in Charleston.
This year is the 50th anniversary of 26th Amendment giving 18 year olds the right to vote.
Warner said encouraging young people to vote is also crucial at this time when so many are involved in social media during the election process.
“They can’t help but see what’s going on across the world, say in Afghanistan, the border crisis and that sort of thing. These students are in high school have opinions. They’re teenagers. They want to express themselves and what better place to do that than at the polls?” Warner said.
The late U.S. Senator 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 who lives in Randolph County.
Tuesday’s event was also meant to urge voters to check if their registration is up to date including address changes. To register or make changes, visit govotewv.com. You can also visit your county clerk’s office to register in person.
National Voter Registration Day was first observed in 2012.