Weston, W.Va. – One of the inductees into the West Virginia Voter Hall of Fame remembers voting for President Harry Truman in 1948. Another said she was sure her first ballot was cast in 1944 when President Franklin Roosevelt was running for his fourth term.
Neither one of them has missed voting in a general election since then. They were both inducted into the West Virginia Voter Hall of Fame Tuesday, along with more
than 220 of their fellow dedicated voters.
| More than 250 people packed into the Lewis County Senior Center for the event.
To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a voter must cast a ballot in every general election they are eligible to vote in for the past 50 years.
Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant joined Lewis County Clerk Mary Lou Myers in handing out certificates to the inductees at the Lewis County Senior Center. Lewis County Commission President Bob Reinhart and Lisa Blake of the Secretary of State’s Elections Division also honored the inductees.
Two of the inductees are Ramona Ramsburg and Mary Jo Woofter Holy. Both said they couldn’t understand why people don’t vote in every election.
“They should think of all the things the elected officers take care of that affects their lives. Young people, and everyone who doesn’t vote, should be more concerned about every thing,” Ramsburg said.
“If they don’t vote, then that’s their hard luck,” Holy said.
Tennant pointed out that 51 years ago, Senator Robert Byrd was running for his first term. There was also a female Secretary of State overseeing elections in West Virginia that year. Helen Holt was appointed by Governor Cecil Underwood in 1957. She left office in 1959, having lost her election bid.
Holt’s late husband, Rush Holt, Sr., was from Weston. He was elected Senator from West
Virginia in 1935 at age 29. He is still the youngest person ever elected to the US Senate. Their son, Rush Holt Jr., is now a Congressman from New Jersey.
|Secretary of State Natalie Tennant presents a Voter Hall of Fame certificate to a Lewis County man who has voted in every general election for the past 50 years.
“The dedication to civic duty shown by these people is incredible,” Tennant said. “I admire them for that. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Democrat or a Republican, as long as you get out and vote and make sure your voice is heard. I think we can all learn something about taking pride in our communities from these people. I’m proud of these voters, and hopefully we can induct even more people around the state into the West Virginia Voter Hall of Fame.”
Tennant and Myers also inducted people into the Hall of Fame posthumously. Tennant said even though they could not accept the award, their dedication to civic duty should still be acknowledged.
Click here to see photos from the event!