West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner presented Lewis County Clerk Cynthia Rowan with the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS)-WV award for Extraordinary Effort to Promote Voter Engagement on March 2, at the Lewis County Courthouse.
Rowan and her staff were on hand, along with Commissioner Rod Wyman, Secretary of State Field Representative Dot Underwood, Weston City Manager Kristin Droppleman, Family Court Judge Theresa Cogar Turner, Lewis County Board of Education President Paul Derico, Upshur County Clerk Carol Smith, and others.
“This is one operation that’s just a little bit better than the best,” Deputy Chief of Staff for Warner, Mike Queen, said of Rowan and her staff.
He also discussed how a county clerk’s office is with a person from birth to death, as they house marriage certificates, death certificates, birth certificates, deeds, wills, business licenses, and perform other functions related to all residents.
Prior to introducing Warner, Queen ended by giving a person congratulations to Rowan and her team.
Warner said receiving this award takes a concerted effort, with one focus being cleaning up the voter rolls.
“In Lewis County over 1,000 names have been taken off the rolls,” he said.
While Lewis County has taken names off, they have been adding registered voters, citing the over 150 young residents who have registered to vote in the county last year, he added.
Warner also commended the clerk’s office for researching and finding 177 residents who have voted consistently in the last 50 years in Lewis County. The clerk’s office was recognized by Warner and his staff last year for this achievement.
Lewis County had 70 percent of its registered voters vote in the last election in 2017, and the first county in the state to implement the new voter identification law with the fire levy vote in January. Warners said he spoke about Lewis County on the national level, and how other states are looking at WV in combatting voter fraud.
Rowan said she is pleased with the award saying, “It’s such an honor.”
She said keeping the records clean, sending out reminder cards about voting, and continuing doing what her office has been doing will be key to their success. Rowan said Lewis County has always been in the top five percent in voter turnout, at least as far back as she can remembers.
“Lewis County voters are serious voters,” she said.