Beckley, W.Va. – West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie E. Tennant, the state’s chief elections officer, said today a comprehensive plan is in place to both detect possible election law violation and ensure quick communication between election officials around the state.
West Virginians go to the polls on October 4 in a special election to choose the state’s next governor.
“When it comes to the security of our elections and the faith that the people of West Virginia have in them, it doesn’t matter if one hundred people voted, if one hundred thousand people voted, or if one million people voted,” Secretary Tennant said. “An election is the expression of American rights and ideals, and every single vote is sacred. It is my duty as Secretary of State and the state’s chief elections official to make sure that election law is not being broken.”
Secretary Tennant said her office will have dozens of liaisons spread across the state working closely with election workers. Those liaisons will be able to answer questions from election workers and will also enable fast and reliable communication with the Secretary of State’s Office. Secretary Tennant also said the staff of the Secretary of State’s office will be at the State Capitol by 5:00 AM on Election Day to answer calls from election officials.
Secretary Tennant urged people who go to the polls to keep an eye out for anything they think might be a violation of election law. If a citizen sees something they think is suspicious, they should call the Secretary of State’s Office at (304) 558-6000 or toll free at 1-866-767-8683. Information provided to the Secretary of State’s Office will remain confidential.
Early voting for the special election was strong, Secretary Tennant reported. About 56,638 West Virginians cast their ballot during the early voting period, which ended on October 1. That number includes 32,086 democrats, 19,745 republicans, 4,688 people registered with no party affiliation, 27 mountain, and 92 other. Calhoun County has not yet entered final numbers into the Secretary of State’s Statewide Voter Registration System. Secretary Tennant said just over 41,000 people cast their ballot during the early voting period for the special gubernatorial primary election in May.
“I would like to remind voters that they do have rights on Election Day,” Secretary Tennant said. “This Voters Bill of Rights can be found on the Secretary of State’s website. I encourage all voters of West Virginia to know their rights, and if they feel their rights have been violated, to contact us here in the Secretary of State’s Office.”
The Secretary of State’s Office will be holding live webcasts from the State Capitol throughout Election Day beginning at 5:45 AM, giving people a behind the scenes look at what takes place. The schedule for those live webcasts can be found on the Secretary of State’s website at www.wvsos.com.