Ensuring Elections Are Clean in W.Va.

Not so long ago, one might have expected the executive order President Donald Trump signed Thursday, ordering an investigation into vote fraud and voter suppression, to include the phrase, “And start with West Virginia.”

Thanks to still-new Secretary of State Mac Warner, that no longer is the case. Upon taking office earlier this year, Warner launched a long-overdue campaign to clean up the state’s voter registration rolls.

Things were so bad that in at least one county a year or so ago, there were more registered voters than residents 18 or older. Combine that with West Virginia’s reputation for crooked elections in the past, and a federal probe might have seemed in order.

But in just a few months, county officials working with Warner’s office have removed 51,728 names from the voter registration lists. They are people who have moved, been imprisoned, died or should not be registered for other reasons.

Warner estimates the job is about halfway completed. That alone emphasizes why it needed to be done.

Those who may accuse activist election officials such as Warner of voter suppression clearly are misguided. Even as some names were being removed from registration lists, his office and county officials have signed up 12,839 new voters.

Good for Warner and good for county election officials. Voters now can have more confidence West Virginia elections are honest.


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