Parkersburg, W.Va. – West Virginia is leading the way when it comes to military and overseas voting.
That was the message today from Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant.
She also recognized the valuable leadership of the late Senator Robert C. Byrd, who served as a member of the Armed Services Committee for several years.
“The members of our military are putting their lives on the line every day,” Tennant said. “I thought it was extremely important to make sure they had secure access to an online ballot. We had to make sure their voice was heard. And thanks to agencies like the Federal Voting Assistance Program, we are making that a reality.”
Tennant said Uniformed Services and Overseas Voter Week is designed to raise awareness among military and overseas voters so they can start the process of registering to vote and requesting an absentee ballot. She said even though Election Day is still four months away, overseas and military voters should begin the process now to make sure any unforeseen problems can be corrected before ballots are sent out.
Military or overseas voters who have questions about how they can register can visit the Secretary of State’s website at www.wvsos.com
or call their county clerk’s office.
Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell, Representatives from Wood County Clerk Jamie Six’s Office, and Jackson County Clerk Jeff Waybright were also there to promote easier voting for military members and citizens living overseas.
West Virginia’s Online Voting Pilot Program is leading the nation in safe and accessible internet voting. During the 2010 Primary Election five counties – Jackson, Kanawha, Marshall, Monongalia, and Wood – took part in the pilot program. The program saw an 80 percent ballot return rate. Other methods of absentee voting saw return rates of about 40 percent.
Voter response was so positive, in her report to the state legislature, Tennant asked lawmakers to consider allowing additional counties to participate in the 2010 General Election.
Tennant also reaffirmed the partnership between her office and Armed Forces recruiting stations to provide voter registration services as required by the Motor Voter Law of 1993.
West Virginia’s Uniformed Services and Overseas Voter Week is in conjunction with the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) and the United States Department of Defense.