Secretary Warner Recognizes November Effort to Register 2,731 High School Students to Vote

Updated 3 years ago Edited from a Press Release
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Secretary of State Mac Warner is pleased to announce that November saw another substantial increase in voter registrations from eligible high school students.

Across West Virginia, 2,731 eligible 17 and 18-year-olds registered to vote during the month of November. 

Right after the recent special election in October, Warner said that the Elections Division of the Secretary of State’s Office and the county clerks kicked off a voter registration effort working with high schools throughout the state. The Secretary of State’s Office is also working closely with organizations like Inspire-WV, who promote civic engagement and voter registration among our youngest voters. 

Since the October 9th kick off, there have been 4,260 eligible high schools students registered to vote (attachment).

“This successful effort to encourage the next generation to participate in our democracy demonstrates that our message is getting through,” Secretary Warner said. “These high school voter registration numbers show that our students understand how powerful their voices can be when they are registered and eligible to vote. I’m thankful for our teachers, our county clerks, and organizations who care about the civic engagement of young adults.”

“It all begins with being registered to vote,” Warner said.

The Secretary of State’s Office recognizes those high schools who register 100 percent of their eligible students with the presentation of the Jennings Randolph Award. The award is named for former U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph of West Virginia, the father of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which lowered the voting age from 21 to 18 (link). 

Under Warner’s leadership, a record high of 16 high schools earned the Jennings Randolph Award during the 2016-2017 school year. 

Students who are active in the effort to register their classmates to vote can also apply for the Honorary Secretary of State program. Students selected for this honor are invited to Charleston to shadow Secretary Warner and learn more about how the Secretary of State’s Office functions. The deadline for Honorary Secretary of State Program is Wednesday, December 13 (link). 

For the 2017-2018 school year, 45 high schools have already hosted voter registration drives, including 31 schools in November. The Secretary of State’s Field Services Team works with the county clerk in each county, as well as with school staff and other interested organizations to help organize the voter registration effort in each high school.

Since taking office on January 16, 2017, Warner’s administration has been working closely with the state’s 55 county clerks on cleaning up voter registration rolls. As of November 30th, there have been 79,022 outdated, deceased, duplicate and improper voter files canceled. 

At the same time, there have been 39,381 newly registered voters (attachment), including more than 12,000 high school students.