BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — September marks National Voter Registration Month.
“West Virginia is a state where people unfortunately feel abandoned,” said Shana Gallagher.
Shana Gallagher is the UN-PAC WV Organizing Director. She said she is working with a grassroots organizing group to mobilize a new generation of voters. UN-PAC currently has three volunteers in Beckley and they have been focusing on voter outreach all summer.
“We do door-to-door canvassing to raise awareness about the For The People Act and voting and campaign finance reform legislation, and we have seen overwhelming support here and across the state,” said Gallagher.
One major goal of UN-PAC this month is to register younger voters and help them become knowledgeable about the issues impacting the state.
“Our democracy is broken and it’s working for corporations and billionaires, and not for young people and that’s why there’s issues like the opioid epidemic, like the student debt crisis, like climate change,” said Gallagher.
People can register to vote in-person at the Raleigh County Courthouse or online at govotewv.com. Masks are required in the Raleigh County Courthouse.
Visits to schools to register younger voters are delayed because of the pandemic. Despite obstacles in voter outreach, Kurt Gillipsie, the Deputy Clerk at the Voter Registration Office, said it is important for everyone to register to vote and participate in elections.
“I feel like we all need to take part in voting,” Gillipsie explained. “It’s really important, especially at the local level, people might not think their vote matters at the presidential level or whatever, but definitely in your locals it does matter.”
In 2020, 32,887 people voted in the general election, the highest number of voters in Raleigh County in at least eight years.