The Voice of West Virginia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Voters in West Virginia will decide next month whether to give state Treasurer John Perdue an unprecedented seventh term in office or elect a fresh face with a familiar name.
Perdue, a Democrat from Boone County, is on the ballot in the November 3 General Election against Harpers Ferry native Riley Moore, the eldest grandchild of former Gov. Arch Moore and the nephew of U.S. Sen. Shelly Moore Capito.
Perdue assumed the office of managing the state bank, a bank of more than $16 billion of assets, in 1997. Prior to his election in 1996, he served as an aide to Governor Gaston Caperton and assistant commissioner of Agriculture under Gus Douglass.
Moore, who was born in Morgantown and served in the House of Delegates from 2016 to 2018 and , said he is running on three pillars of accountability, transparency and modernization. He told MetroNews all three have to deal with term limits which is what he wants to bring to the office by defeating Perdue.
“A lot of people do not focus on this office or think about it but it actually is an important office in the state. We’ve had the same individual in the office for 24 years which tells you why you need term limits,” Moore said.
“My plan is to start term limits in this general election buy term limiting John Perdue.”
Perdue told MetroNews he is proud of the 23 years in office. He hopes that his experience, record and momentum of programs will help him get reelected.
“We have built up a treasurer’s office that people can be proud of, a bank of state government that people can be proud of. That is what I am running on to help protect the banking of the state of West Virginia,” he said.
“We brought integrity and honesty into this office. We have modernized it and put the technology into the office to make it what it is today.”
Programs that Perdue has touted consist of the SMART 529 College Education Savings Plan, a new unclaimed property program that has returned over $215 million, West Virginia’s 457 Deferred Compensation Plan, and the WVABLE program which allows individuals with disabilities the ability to save and invest up to $15,000 per year without losing eligibility for public benefit programs such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income.
The SMART 529 College Education Savings Plan has 118,000 individuals participating in according to Perdue. It is a tax-advantaged savings plan designed to encourage families to save for traditional college. Earnings on 529 investments accumulate tax-free, and distributions are tax-exempt, as long as they are applied toward eligible education expenses such as tuition and room and board, according to the program’s website.
Perdue said education changed his life and that is why he works to promote that program every day.
“Education changed me. Because I really believe that is why I work so hard at financial literacy. I believe that education at a very young age and changing people’s lives is very important.”
Moore, who currently works in the defense and aerospace industry, said the treasurer’s office needs to be more modernized with its programs. He has came up with the Jump Start Savings Plan, geared towards those students who do not go to a four-year college after high school.
He said the program would cover tuition and allow those in technical and vocational schools to save money to purchase tools, equipment, training, licenses, and certifications as they come out of trade school.
Moore said the program would result in small business growth and be good for trade unions. He began his career working as a welder in a rock quarry maintaining the mining equipment.
“It allows individuals to start savings accounts prior to graduation from technical, community college or trade schools. Start savings accounts to buy tools, types of equipment and licenses upon graduation,” Moore said.
Moore launched his campaign in March 2019 and said the COVID-19 has not halted any momentum but has only furthered it. He has traveled the state but said he utilized social media pages such as Instagram, Twitter, Zoom, YouTube, and Facebook when he stays home with his wife and two young daughters.
“In this type of election, we are a more technologically advanced election than a lot of the other statewide out there. It has worked to our advantage,” he told MetroNews.
Perdue said while he has done campaigning, he will let his record speak to the voters.
“I never let the grass grow under my feet. I always look ahead to help the people of this great state. That is what they elected me to do,” Perdue said.
“That’s why I try to work in a non-partisan way to serve them in West Virginia.”
Moore said the biggest difference between him and his opponent is who they support in Washington D.C., stating that he was a delegate for President Donald Trump and Perdue was a delegate for Joe Biden.
“In how we view the state, in how we view government and how it relates to the people, and I think in how we see the future of the state of West Virginia. Given that Vice President Joe Biden is committed to destroying the coal and natural gas industries in this country,” Moore said.
Both candidates ran unopposed on the June 9 primary ticket. The last day to early vote in-person is October 31.
The post Moore looks to unseat experienced Perdue for West Virginia Treasurer appeared first on WV MetroNews.
Politically, West Virginia has been trending red for two decades, even as the Democratic Party maintained an overwhelming advantage in the number of registered voters.
However, the latest figures from Secretary of State Mac Warner’s office show that the GOP is now tantalizingly close to overtaking the Democrats.
For the upcoming General Election, 458,391 West Virginians are registered with the Republican Party while 470,483 are registered Democrats. (288,308 are Independent or no party, 8,797 are Libertarian and 2,389 are with the Mountain Party.)
That breaks down to 37 percent of all voters are Democrats, 36 percent are Republican, 23 percent are Independent or no party, and four percent are Libertarian, Mountain or another third party.
So, the Democratic Party has only 12,092 more voters that the Republican Party. That is down a whopping 66 percent just since July, when Democrats had a registration advantage of nearly 42,000.
Democrats have lost ground in 47 counties just in the last three months, while gaining registration in only eight. Meanwhile, Republican registration has increased in all 55 counties.
Three more counties have flipped from Democrat to Republican just since July—Mason, Mercer and Pocahontas. They join Raleigh and Greenbrier Counties which turned from blue to red earlier this year. Marshall and Nicholas could be next.
Twenty-six West Virginia counties now have more Republicans than Democrats. That is nearly double the number from four years ago, when only 14 counties were Republican.
Most West Virginians can remember when this was a one-party state, and that was the Democratic Party.
As recently as 1996, two out of every three voters were Democrats. In the General Election that year, Bill Clinton carried West Virginia on his way to re-election. Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller and all three Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives won easily.
Democrats also won every position on the Board of Public Works. The rare exception that year was Republican Cecil Underwood’s six point victory over Democrat Charlotte Pritt for Governor.
Through the years, Republican candidates like Underwood, Arch Moore and Cleve Benedict notched a few victories, but the state remained steadfastly Democratic. George W. Bush’s defeat of Al Gore in 2000, which included a victory in West Virginia, started the state on its tilt to the right, and it has been leaning that way ever since.
Donald Trump’s 42 point victory over Hillary Clinton in West Virginia in 2016, where he won all 55 counties, helped move the state even deeper into the red. The enthusiastic support for him in this election has helped accelerate the growth in Republican registration.
Fox News Political Editor Chris Stirewalt, who spent years covering politics in West Virginia, believes government works better when there is a vibrant two-party system. That opportunity may bypass West Virginia.
West Virginia, which was solidly Democratic for the better part of the 20th century, has rapidly turned into a Republican state. The next update of voter registration figures will likely complete the transition.
The post GOP On The Verge Of Overtaking Democrats In Party Registration In WV appeared first on WV MetroNews.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With the U.S. Supreme Court scheduled to hear oral arguments next month regarding former President Barack Obama’s health care law, a group of West Virginia organizations on Tuesday shared their concerns about what overturning the law could mean for the state.
The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy, the West Virginia Citizen Action Education Fund, West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, and Cabin Creek Health Systems held a briefing about the legal challenge to “Obamacare” and the effects of justices possibly striking down the law.
The Supreme Court has scheduled arguments on the health care law for Nov. 10, a week after Election Day. Eighteen state attorneys general — including West Virginia’s Patrick Morrisey — and the U.S. Department of Justice argue “Obamacare” is unconstitutional because Congress reduced the health care law’s individual mandate to zero in the 2017 tax law. The plaintiffs additionally contend the provision is unseverable from the rest of the law.
“Those of us that are hosting this briefing have been talking about the possible consequences of a negative Court decision that overturns the health care law as ‘disaster preparedness,'” said Kelly Allen, the executive director of the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
“We think that is how everybody — families, health care providers, and our local, state and federal elected officials — needs to be thinking about this lawsuit as well.”
Jessica Ice, the executive director of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care, said there are two concerns about how the Supreme Court could rule: the effects on covering preexisting conditions and the expansion of Medicaid.
As noted in a 2018 West Virginia University policy brief, around 719,000 non-elderly West Virginians have a preexisting condition. Ice explained “Obamacare” not only secured insurance coverage for people but also prohibited insurance companies from installing lifetime caps and charging policyholders more for covering certain conditions.
“We know preexisting conditions, prior to the ACA, could be anything,” she said. “They could be high blood pressure, they could be diabetes, they could be even testing positive for COVID as a preexisting condition.”
According to the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, around 179,000 residents have insurance coverage because of Medicaid expansion. The expansion has allowed people more opportunities to receive treatment for opioid addiction as well as insurance coverage following job loss.
“I can’t think of many sections of West Virginia that this wouldn’t impact,” Ice said.
Ice also noted it is unclear how the court could rule.
“The court could choose to not necessarily throw out the entire ACA, but they may keep some parts of it,” she said. “Or the law could disappear in some states like the ones that are challenging the ACA — like West Virginia is — and not in others.”
Allen said if the Supreme Court fully overturns “Obamacare,” 198,000 West Virginians would lose insurance coverage, in which racial minorities and coal miners would be the most impacted. Uncompensated care costs for hospitals would increase by $1.6 billion over a decade, and uncompensated prescription drug costs would rise to $1.3 billion over the same time.
Allen also mentioned the possible impact on the state’s economy; West Virginia would lose more than $9 billion in gross state product over five years and $16 billion in business output during that period. She stated a decision striking down the law would result in 16,000 jobs lost, with 7,200 positions being from the health care sector.
“Just to put that in perspective, that’s one out of every 50 jobs in the state,” she said. “That’s a major, major economic impact.”
An end to the law would also affect the state budget; Allen noted West Virginia receives federal funding to cover 90% of Medicaid expansion costs.
“The bottom line here of talking about this is that even if you are not someone who’s directly impacted by the loss of coverage or the ACA being repealed — even though you probably are — you’re still going to feel these rippling effects that impact our entire state economy,” she explained.
Dr. Daniel Doyle, a physician at the Cabin Creek Health Center facility in Dawes, said West Virginians have benefited from “Obamacare.”
“Now, I can go for days without having patients who miss necessary tests or specialty care,” he said. “In fact, it had been routine for people to not get what they needed. The new routine is that people get what they need, and that’s made all the difference in trying to practice in a place like Cabin Creek or Fayette County, West Virginia over these past 10 years.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, West Virginia’s uninsured rate decreased from 14.6% in 2010 to 6.7% in 2018.
Doyle was one of 31 doctors who wrote a letter to Morrisey in September about withdrawing from the lawsuit.
“We believe he owes the people of West Virginia an explanation for why such a frightening policy would be proposed and pursued,” Doyle added.
Morrisey has told MetroNews he supports covering preexisting conditions, and his involvement in the legal challenge is because of rising health care costs. He said earlier this month he believes the Supreme Court will strike down the individual mandate yet order a lower court to determine which parts of the law are severable from the tax penalty.
The post Organizations share concerns about ‘Obamacare’ lawsuit ahead of oral arguments appeared first on WV MetroNews.
(Neal Brown pregame Zoom conference)
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia is a slight favorite as they make their longest road trip of the season to Texas Tech Saturday afternoon. While the Mountaineers are 3-1 and on the good side of the .500 mark in Big 12 play, the Red Raiders are 0-3 in the league and their only victory this season came over a Houston Baptist team whose lone win came in a three-point triumph over Eastern Kentucky.
“They have played a very difficult schedule,” said WVU head coach Neal Brown. “Their record doesn’t tell the story, necessarily. They got beat by a very talented Texas team, where they led by fifteen in the fourth quarter. They played Kansas State on the road, who is tied for first in our league. They had an opportunity to win that game in the fourth quarter. And they played at Iowa State, who is also tied for first in our league. That’s one of the toughest places to play in the Big 12.”
Since last year’s meeting in Morgantown, where Tech rolled to a 38-17 win, the Red Raiders have gone 1-6. WVU has won five of their last seven games overall.
“That is the worst we have played in two years defensively. They had a lot to do with that. They had a great plan. They came out and executed. They jumped on us and held on. We played good in the second half but by then it was too late.”
For the third time in the last four games, the Mountaineers will be preparing to defend a ‘new’ starting signal caller. Junior Henry Colombi will get his first collegiate start Saturday. Colombi transferred from Utah State where Matt Wells was head coach. Colombi has completed 74 percent of his passes in two relief efforts this season.
“He is more than capable. They obviously like him. They had a really good quarterback in (Alan) Bowman who threw the ball. They had some issues at Iowa State. Colombi came in and if you look at it, their scoring drives the last two games have been led by him. He is a dual-threat guy and gets the ball out of his hands super-fast.”
Tech will push the pace offensively regardless of which quarterback is in the lineup.
“The fastest, most of the time, is a play every eight seconds. And they are pretty close to that,” said WVU co-defensive coordinator Jordan Lesley. “That is about as fast as you can go. It neutralizes you. It simplifies you.”
“They will be the fastest tempo team we play all year,” Brown said. “They will play really fast.”
“They force you to defend the football and defend their receivers for the entire count of the play,” said WVU co-defensive coordinator Jahmile Addae. “If you don’t do your job, meaning if you are not gap sound and have leverage on your defense, they can really do some damage with their legs and move chains.”
West Virginia quarterback Jarret Doege made his debut as a Mountaineer against Texas Tech last November. Doege grew up in Lubbock and will be going against the alma mater of his brother Seth. Doege was in the crowd at Jones AT&T Stadium in 2012 when the Raiders dealt WVU their first loss of the season in resounding fashion.
“I asked my dad if I could rush the field,” said Doege. “I went on the field and ran around. I tried to find my brother but I couldn’t find him. But I just kind of enjoyed the experience of getting to rush the field.
“Hopefully this time I can reverse the roles and go out there and do what my brother did for West Virginia.”
“He’ll be emotional about going back and will be excited,” Brown said. “But he has to be able to control those emotions. It is not any different than any other game. We are going to talk a lot about mindset and staying neutral.”
“We would all be fooling ourselves if there aren’t thoughts by him and his family,” said WVU offensive coordinator Gerad Parker. “If you are not careful and you ride the wave of emotion, what does a loss do to you? What does a negative play do to you? When in reality, it should really be about the process of getting better everyday.”
Saturday’s forecast in Lubbock calls for near-perfect conditions with partly cloudy skies and a high temperature of 73 degrees. But the prevailing winds of West Texas are a factor Doege will know to account for.
“I don’t think it is a huge deal,” Doege said. “You just have to kind of tighten your spiral down and put maybe a little more velocity on it. But there is no secret to it or key to it. Just throw the football in the wind.”
Texas Tech’s defense is led by former WVU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. Tech is allowing 39.5 points per game, second-worst in the Big 12 behind Kansas.
“They certainly in the past have given them up,” Parker said. “They have had two weeks to close some of those windows up.”
West Virginia has a chance to surpass their team rushing output from the entire 2019 season on Saturday. In four games, the Mountaineers have rushed for 757 yards. They amassed 879 yards in 12 games last season.
“We’ve got to have some answers in our run game off some of the ways that people are starting to defend us,” Brown said. “I am not ready to sit up here and announce we have arrived. I think Leddie has shown early through three league games that he is a really good player. I think we blocked movement against Kansas better than any game we have in the last two years.
“I think these next four weeks will tell the tale. Ask me in a month and I will have a much better answer for you. We are definitely better.”
The post WVU prepares for another new signal caller in the winds of West Texas appeared first on WV MetroNews.
WEST LIBERTY, W.Va. — West Liberty University’s Presidential Search Committee announced four finalists for the position of president on Tuesday following a relaunch of the search in late August.
The four candidates vying to become the school’s 37th president will visit the Ohio County campus from Oct. 29 – Nov. 10 with each one spending two days there.
“I am pleased to announce the four finalists for the next President of West Liberty University. We look forward to introducing these leaders to our campus community and to the public as we begin the final steps in the process of finding a president,” said Rich Lucas, who is the chairman of the Search Committee and also the Board of Governors.
The national search for a president resulted in more than 70 applications, according to West Liberty University (WLU). Two are current college or university presidents, the other two are vice presidents (bios provided by West Liberty).
Dr. W. Franklin Evans, the current president of Voorhees College, will be the first to visit campus on Oct. 29 and 30. The Augusta, Georgia native has 25 years of experience in education. Prior to being named president, Evans served as interim president of South Carolina State University (SCSU), in Orangeburg, S.C., where he also served as the provost and chief academic officer.
Previously he served as vice president of academic affairs at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va. He also has worked at Elizabeth City State, J. F. Drake State Technical College, Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, and Tennessee State University.
In 1994, Evans earned a doctoral degree in higher education administration from Georgia State University. He earned a degree in journalism, middle childhood education, curriculum and instruction, as well as administration and supervision from Georgia State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree in entomology from the University of Georgia in 1984.
Dr. Melinda Arnold, who serves as provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs at Montana State University Billings (MSUB), is the second candidate that will be on campus Nov. 1 and 2. She has led the Academic Affairs unit at MSUB since October 2018 where she is responsible for overseeing instructional programs, educational policy, academic planning, and academic resources.
Arnold facilitates the largest budget at MSUB and 166 full-time faculty in five colleges, including an embedded two-year college. She also leads and manages academic support units including the Library, Office of Graduate Studies, Grants and Sponsored Programs, Office of International Studies, Academic Success Center, Institutional Research, Assessment and Accreditation, eLearning, Advising and Career Services, Academic Senate, Honors Program and the Montana Center for Inclusive Education.
Prior to MSUB, Arnold served as interim associate provost at the University of North Texas at Dallas and as executive director of the Caruth Police Institute at UNT Dallas.
She was born in New York, but spent much of her childhood in Houston, Texas and earned her undergraduate degree in philosophy at the University of Texas. She then went on to earn two master’s degrees, one in liberal studies at Northwestern University and a second in criminal justice at Rutgers University. She also earned a doctoral degree in criminal justice at Rutgers.
On Nov. 4 and 5, Dr. Jay Gatrell will visit the West Liberty campus. He has served as provost and vice president of academic affairs at Eastern Illinois University since July 1, 2017.
As chief academic officer, he is responsible for academic and senior-level internal leadership and represents the president in his absence, working with and coordinating the team of senior staff responsible for achieving the university’s goals identified by the president and the board of trustees.
Prior to this position, he was vice provost at Bellarmine University from 2014 – 2017 and was responsible for sponsored projects, study abroad, veteran’s affairs, homeland security, institutional research and effectiveness, development initiatives, biosafety and compliance, among other things.
The Northern Michigan native has family in the Weirton area. An economic geographer with interests in human-environment interactions, he earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Eastern Michigan University, as well as graduate degrees in geography from the University of Toledo and West Virginia University (Ph.D.).
The final candidate visit on Nov. 9-10 will be from Dr. Michael Victor, the president of Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pa., a position he has held since Aug. 1, 2015. Prior to that, he served as dean of Mercyhurst’s Walker School of Business from 2002 – 2006 before accepting the presidency of Lake Erie College in Painesville, Ohio, a position he held for nine years until returning to Mercyhurst.
During his tenure at Mercyhurst, he led the renovation of the student dining hall, the main floor of the library and an upgrade to the Mercyhurst Ice Center. He also spearheaded construction of the $2 million MCPc Cyber Education Center and the $25 million sophomore residence, Ryan Hall. In 2019, he announced the $9.5 million Campaign for Mercyhurst Athletics.
The Ridgway, Pa. native holds a bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Saint Vincent College, Latrobe, Pa. and a juris doctorate from Duquesne University School of Law in Pittsburgh. He began his professional career as an attorney in the corporate law department of MacDonald, Illig, Jones & Britton in Erie.
From 1988-2000 he was co-owner and CEO of Pyramid Industries in Erie and he is co-chair of the Victor Group, a metals manufacturing company.
Lucas said the visits will consist of visits with deans, the president’s cabinet, staff, faculty, students, community members, and the search committee. Candidates will also get a tour of the West Liberty community and nearby Wheeling area.
“We want someone with personality, personal characteristics, professionalism. Being able to deal with all those bodies on campus, off-campus and the community,” Lucas told MetroNews.
“We’ve got their credentials, we’ve done the Zoom interviews. This is the get to know them well period.”
This is not the first scheduled visits for candidates expected to replace retiring president Dr. Stephen Griener. The presidential search committee had to put the first search and campus visits on hold in March due to COVID-19.
Following three of the five finalists moving on to other positions while the search remained suspended and one of the other two withdrawing their name, university officials announced a brand new search in late August.
Greiner announced his retirement in Nov. 2019 where he planned to leave June 30 of this year. He agreed to stay on board until a new president was selected. Lucas said he expects to have a president named in time for the spring semester, which begins on Jan. 19, 2021.
Lucas said the West Liberty community is thankful for Greiner working well past his retirement date.
“We can’t thank him enough for without complaints, staying uninterrupted, guiding the university with a steady hand during this pandemic. He has been doing his thing and participating in the new committee,” Lucas said.
Lucas said the committee will meet immediately following the final campus visit and evaluate the interviews. The committee then presents its final recommendations to the Board of Governors, who makes the final selection and forwards the name to the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission (WVHEPC) for its seal of approval.
Lucas said none of the prior finalists in the spring applied this time around but said some in the original field re-applied and were in the second field of 70 candidates.
WLU’s Presidential Search Committee is composed of all members of the Board of Governors plus two additional faculty representatives, two additional staff members, one additional student member, one alumnus and one WLU Foundation member. Also serving as a non-voting, ex-officio member is Dr. Sarah Tucker, chancellor of the WVHEPC.
The post West Liberty announces four finalists for president position appeared first on WV MetroNews.
KINGWOOD, W.Va. — A former loan officer at federal credit union in Preston County has been charged with felony embezzlement.
According to Preston County Magistrate Court filings, Nicole Moore of Elk Garden, 37, allegedly stole $157,950 from 60 different member accounts at WEPCO Federal Credit Union from November 2017-September 2020 while working at the Kingwood branch.
Moore allegedly processed cash advances on 81 different loans and completed 198 transactions on member accounts.
According to a criminal complaint, Moore admitted to having changed members’ statements from paper statements to electronic and then she would turn off notifications on the electronic statements for those accounts so the members would not notice a change in their principal balance.
A credit union member notified WEPCO of discrepancies on a loan balance in September which prompted an investigation.
Kingwood police officials said Moore told them she had made the transactions but she was unaware of exactly how many loans she had manipulated. She claimed she was being blackmailed by her ex-boyfriend and she was depositing the money into his account.
WEPCO President Becky McKenzie said in a statement the investigation is ongoing.
“Based on a review of past activity, we have identified and contacted, or attempted to contact, all members impacted. The members that have been reached have met with credit union personnel, and their accounts have been resolved. Going forward, we do have measures in place to detect and stop these transactions.”
The case will now be scheduled for a preliminary hearing.
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Secretary of State’s Office says voter registration for Republicans and Democrats for the upcoming Nov. 3 General Election is almost even.
The last day to register to vote was Tuesday, Oct. 13,.and certified numbers released Tuesday by the Secretary of State’s Office show the general election will have 470,083 Democrats (37% of the electorate) who are eligible to vote and 458,391 Republicans (36% ). There are 288,000 registered voters (22%) that declare ‘no party.’
The 12,000 voter advantage of Democrats over Republicans represents a continuing trend of Republican voter registration gains. The registration advantage for Democrats in 1995, 25 years ago, was 349,000 voters. Democrats held a 188,700 registration advantage over Republicans heading into the 2016 Primary Election. The registration advantage was 49,953 for last June’s primary.
Heading into the Nov. 3 election, Democrats have the voter registration advantage in 29 counties, Republicans in 26 with several counties nearly split. For example, Harrison County, a longtime Democratic stronghold, still has more registered Democrats than Republicans but only by 1,539 voters. Ohio County is also close with registered Democrats ahead of registered Republicans by just 531 registrations.
West Virginia native Fox News Politics Editor Chris Stirewalt said the pace at West Virginia went from blue to red is remarkable.
“West Virginia didn’t go through a gray period (like other states) they went right from all Democrat to all Republican,” Stirewalt said Tuesday on MetroNews “Talkline.”
Meanwhile, the state’s leading Democrat, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin said a lot of West Virginians have left his party out of frustration but also said in answering a question from MetroNews Tuesday, many of voters have been misled.
“If you’re a Democrat now they’ve made you believe the propaganda that you want to kill babies, that you want to take all of their guns away from everybody, that you basically want to socialize. I can tell you one thing, there’s no room in my mind or my thoughts or my vote for socialization,” Manchin said.
He said the major shift in West Virginia began in 2010, two years after former President Barack Obama took office, when Obamacare and the War on Coal were popular topics.
“People were disgruntled. They really are disgruntled and I understand that and the political winds have shifted dramatically,” Manchin said.
Manchin said many Democrats have changed their registrations because of President Donald Trump but he said Trump hasn’t followed through on his promises, particularly with coal and an infrastructure package.
“He said, ‘We’re going to bring all of the coal jobs back,’ If you’re from a coal mining family you’ll say I’m going to vote for Donald Trump because he’s going to bring our jobs back but we’ve lost more coal jobs under Donald Trump than we did before,” Manchin said. “It just keeps down and down and down.”
Manchin, who won’t be up for reelection until 2024 if he decides to run again, said he hopes state residents vote for the person not the letter beside the name.
“Forget about the D or the R,” Manchin said. “If the D or the R is what you think makes that person you’re voting for the wrong person because they shouldn’t be controlled by either party. They should be controlled by representing you and the needs you have.”
Raleigh County continues to add Republican registrations. The once Democrat-dominated county now has nearly 1,500 more registered Republicans than Democrats.
Democrats continue to have large registration leads in Logan, McDowell and Fayette counties. The greatest advantage of GOP registrations over Democrats are in Berkeley, Wood, Preston and Putnam counties.
Kanawha (29,618), Berkeley (25,325) and Monongalia (19,639) counties have the most register ‘no party’ voters. The total registration of ‘no party’ voters in Berkeley County is more than the number of registered Democrats in that county by 3,055 voters.
The 10-day early voting period for the Nov. 3 election begins Wednesday in West Virginia.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginia’s status as a pioneer in new voting technology continues to evolve in 2020. Two years ago, West Virginia became the first state to allow for overseas absentee voting for military members and West Virginia residents living abroad. The submission included electronic casting of ballots for those far from home on Election Day.
The 2020 election features upgrades to the program and an expansion of who can use it.
“Our office worked with the Legislature and Senate Bill 94. The Legislature expanded the opportunity to electronically vote absentee to voters with physical disabilities,” said Deak Kersey, general counsel in the office of the Secretary of State.
“These are voters who can’t vote a paper ballot without assistance,” he said.
Terra Muncy of Belle, W.Va. is among those who took advantage of the new technology.
“Depending on where you vote, they may or may not have a stand that will fit my wheel chair. This allowed me to sit at home, get my ballot and vote without having any of the worries I normally have if I go out,” Muncy said.
She added the process was quite simple. She submitted her information to the Kanawha County Clerk and was given an I-D number to log into the system and input her information for verification.
“Then my ballot popped right up,” she said. “The process was probably less than five minutes.”
“During the Primary Election we only had a handful of voters with physical disabilities who used the system. But in the General Election we’ve seen a large turnout using the system,” Kersey said.
As of October 18, more than 1,000 had votes electronically. The breakdown included 921 active duty military and overseas voters and 132 voters in West Virginia with physical disabilities. Kersey said that had come without much publicity or promotion of the new program.
The second major change in the electronic voting for 2020 is an increased emphasis on cyber security. Kersey said although there were no serious concerns in the 2018 election, as a general statement the Department of Homeland Security suggested any state using the electronic voting applications be very careful. There was satisfaction under the old vendor’s security plan, but West Virginia election officials shopped around, did some homework and research, and eventually made the decision to go with a new vendor and a new platform..
According to Kersey the old vendor stored voting information using “block chain” technology which was highly secure. The new vendor used a cloud based storage system which is next level on security.
“The new vendor uses a server in the AWS cloud–specifically a Fed Ramp Certified cloud. If you don’t know what that means, all you need to know is the same place these ballots are being stored for the 2020 general election is where the CIA, NSA, DHS and all other three letter federal and intelligence agencies store their documents. We’re behind a very secure cloud,” he said.
“E-voting is a great opportunity for people with disabilities,” Muncy said. “I think it gives us yet another option and the more options we have the better. This will help people, especially those in rural areas where it’s really hard to get out, to vote and have their voice heard.”
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— Story by Taylor Kennedy
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — WVU Redshirt freshman safety Tae Mayo announces that he will be entering his name into the transfer portal.
Mayo announced via his personal Twitter that he will be leaving West Virginia. He stated in his tweet that his time with WVU had been a “wonderful experience.”
My time at West Virginia University has been a wonderful experience… this is really almost heaven; the fans are amazing and the atmosphere … however I’ve decided to part ways with WVU. Im entering my name into the transfer portal to pursue my dreams at a new home. #TTC
— tavian2x (@tavian_1) October 20, 2020
Mayo appeared in one game this year in a Mountaineer uniform. He recorded one tackle against Eastern Kentucky back on September 12.
He played in two games last season against Iowa State and Oklahoma. He recorded two total tackles against the Cyclones.
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