Voting in local, state, and national elections is an important part of being an American citizen.  Our votes are extensions of our voice in the politics of our lives. We speak our loudest at the voting booth.

The West Virginia Secretary of State assists with the coordination of voting and records voting statistics. They report an estimated turnout of 37% of eligible voters participated in the voting process in 2014. Understanding who votes in West Virginia can help us understand the decisions that are made for this state. In the 2012 Primary Elections eligible voters aged 18 to 24 comprised only 4% of the votes. Individuals aged 25 to 40 comprised 12% of the votes. Those aged 41 to 55 comprised 25% of the votes and those over the age of 56 comprised 59% of the votes.

WV Voter Turnout by Age: 2012 Primary
18-24 4%
25-40 12%
41-55 25%
56+ 59%

I am in the age range of 25-40 and vote in every election. It is fascinating to hear my peers share their contempt for the system and how it does not work. They say that they choose not to vote year after year. After the elections they say, “This person does not represent us” when discussing our elected officials.

Consider the possibility that the candidate does not represent you. It is possible that you and people like you in the community may not have voted them into office and that your interests may not be the same as those who do vote. More people over the age of 56 participate in voting than any other age group combined. Our older population in West Virginia invests their time in voting. They elect representatives who best represent their interests.

Registering and taking the time to vote can help insure that the people in office represent you. Our votes speak loader than our words. Registering can feel like a hassle at times. Going to the County Clerk’s office and filling out the required paperwork can seem time consuming, which may be why so many younger people fail to vote.

Registering to vote is actually easy in West Virginia. A great resource for the Eastern Panhandle and the rest of the state is the ability to register online. It is also possible to update your voter information online as well. The webpage includes instructions for registering with the following required information:

  • Your name as it appears on your West Virginia driver’s license or ID card
  • Your date of birth
  • Your West Virginia driver’s license or ID card number
  • Your last four digits of your Social Security Number

If you do not have this information available you will have to mail a registration for to the Office of the County Clerk or mail in the form.

Will you register to vote? Did you have any difficulties with registering online? Let us know in the comments.

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