Contact theSOPAbout theSOPSupport theSOPWritersEditorsManaging Editors
theSOP logo
Published:September 19th, 2006 14:50 EST
Morgantown County Clerk Urges Voter Registration

Morgantown County Clerk Urges Voter Registration

By Stacey Smith

With only about 2 months left before this year’s General Election, the Monongalia County Clerk’s office and local political parties are trying to get people registered to vote. April Davies, Supervisor of Elections, says that around 4,850 people are registered to vote in Monongalia County but 60,000 people are probably eligible. While the county is ranked among the top 5 counties in West Virginia for voter registration, there are still a lot of people not registered, she explains.

The Election Committee is going out into the community to try and register more eligible voters, says Davies.

"We have gone to area high schools and registered the 18 year olds and registered people at West Virginia University," she says.

Also Davies says booths have been set up at the local malls and nursing homes. She says they will go anywhere that calls the office and asks for registration forms.

Michael Oliverio, the County Clerk, says registering to vote is easy to do and the voter registration forms can easily be obtained online.

"Some people have trouble printing and mailing the online forms so we offer the option of coming down to the courthouse to register," explains Oliverio, adding that the forms must include a signature so they can not be emailed.

Those interested in registering must be at least 18 years old and currently be a resident of Monongalia County, says Davies, adding that out of state WVU students can register to vote in Monongalia County so long as they have proof of a current address and are not registered in their home state.

People are welcome to register at any time but if they want to vote in an upcoming election, they must register at least 20 days before the Election Day, Davies says.

Davies believes that more senior citizens vote than young Monongalia County residents despite efforts made by groups such as the College Republicans and Young Democrats.

These political affiliates try every year to get more college students registered. Jason Gray, a senior at WVU, was the president of the College Republicans in 2005 to 2006. Gray says that every year, the College Republicans try to rally people by setting up a booth outside with voter registration information.

"It doesn’t matter what political party they sign up for, as long as they register," says Gray about students getting involved.

Similarly, L.J. Ulrich, a senior who was president of the Young Democrats from 2004 to 2006 says that the Democrats have a booth outside the Mountain lair registering people up until Election Day.

"We’ve registered 100’s of kids that way," says Ulrich, adding that the Young Democrats have held rallies with Democratic politicians and held an event with former Presidential Candidate John Kerry and his daughters.

Despite these actions some people still refrain from voting. Gray says that over the years, he has heard many excuses.

"Most people hit you with ‘I don’t even live in W.Va.,’" says Gray.

Other excuses he has heard are that the two political parties are not that much different and that the election will have no effect on students. He also has heard people say ‘I just don’t care.’

Davies says the most common response for why people do not register is that they do not think their vote will count.

"But add together all those one votes and they can make a difference, that one vote does count," she says.