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W.Va. Ups Efforts to Increase Voter Registration

Sam Speciale
West Virginia Secretary of State's Office
Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, right, during a press conference at the state Capitol Thursday.

The Secretary of State’s Office is encouraging West Virginians of all ages to register to vote or update their current voter registration during National Voter Registration Month. 

September is National Voter Registration month. Last year, West Virginia launched its online voter registration system during September, and since then, 45,000 people have used the site, 20,000 of whom signed up to vote for the first time.

This month, the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office is celebrating legislation passed during the 2016 legislative session making West Virginia the third state to implement an automatic voter registration system. Voters are automatically enrolled through the Division of Motor Vehicles with the option to opt out instead of opt in, like a majority of states.

At a press conference at the Capitol Thursday, Harrison County Clerk Susan Thomas said registering is only the first step.

“We can register all the people we want, but if they don’t go out and vote, our roles are inflated, but don’t get me wrong, registration is very important too.”

The deadline to register to vote in November’s general election is October 18. Early voting begins October 26.

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