MCDOWELL COUNTY, WV – The WV Secretary of State’s Office and the McDowell County Clerk’s Office teamed up to visit 2 McDowll County high schools this week. WVSOS Field Representative Lee Dean & McDowell County Clerk staff Linda White & Crystal Greer were welcomed by both Mountview high school and River View high school to speak to senior assemblies and focus on both voter registration and voter education. 42 seniors were registered to vote at Mountview high school and 40 were registered to vote at River View high school. Both McDowell county high schools are working with the Secretary of State’s office and County Clerk‘s office in an effort to win the Jennings Randolph Award. River View HS has never won the award while Mountview HS has won it 3 of the past 4 years.
Jennings Randolph is the father of the 26th Amendment and the late U.S. Senator from Harrison County, WV. Senator Randolph epitomizes what it means to never give up. He introduced a bill eleven times to lower the required age to register to vote from 21 to 18. Imagine failing not once or twice, but ten times before reaching your goal! Randolph believed that if U.S. citizens were old enough to fight and die for their country, then they were old enough to vote for the leaders who were sending them to these conflicts. In 1971, the 26th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed and changed the voting age to 18.
In honor of Senator Randolph’s determination to get young people involved in the voting process, the Secretary of State’s office has created the Jennings Randolph Award. This award is given to high schools that have at least 85 percent of eligible students registered to vote.