Charleston, W.Va. – Surrounded by friends and family, Natalie E. Tennant has taken the oath of office for her second term as West Virginia Secretary of State.
Administering the oath of office was Penney Barker, the manager of the Business and Licensing Division of the Secretary of State’s Office. Barker has served as division manager since 1995 and has been a notary public since 1996. She began working in the Secretary of State’s Office in 1981 and has served during five administrations.
West Virginia Code section 29(C)-3-101 lays out the duties of notaries public, including the power to administer oaths and affirmations.
Tennant said she asked Barker to administer the oath because of the enormous contribution made by that division in making it easier to run a business in West Virginia and to highlight the importance of notaries public.
“Business and Licensing has been completely reworked in the last four years, and it was because of hard work from people like Penney and the members of her division,” Secretary Tennant said. “It is now easier to start and run a business and be successful in West Virginia because of streamlined processes like online annual report filing. I thank Penney and the entire Business and Licensing Division for their dedication and look forward to four more years of helping to make the local economies of our state strong.”
There are more than 45,000 notaries public in West Virginia and more than 4.8 million nationwide. Today’s notaries are vital to the free flow of commerce and to the many highly sensitive personal transactions that transpire in daily life. By properly executing their duties as impartial witnesses, notaries help deter fraud and promote the integrity and reliability of document transactions.
Secretary Tennant also said the citizens of West Virginia can continue to rely on her to follow and enforce election laws, to provide transparency in state government, and to continue looking for ways to make government more efficient.
Tennant, the first woman to serve more than one term as Secretary of State, later took the ceremonial oath of office with the other members of the Board of Public Works just before the inauguration of Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.