OP-ED: Be a Poll Worker! Secretary of State Mac Warner Asks Fellow Veterans to Answer the Call of Duty to Help Keep WV Elections Safe and Fair

By Mac Warner, W.Va. Secretary of State

It was a bitter cold December 23rd. Battles in early 1776 had provided the Continentals hope for revolutionary success, and in July we declared our independence from Great Britain. But as winter set in, one defeat after another had George Washington’s army on the verge of dismantlement and defeat. Opposing factions severely divided the country and many were ready to succumb to the seemingly inevitable loss; the revolution teetered on collapse.

The new nation needed Patriots to answer the call, to stand in the gap and save our country. 

It was on this date, 247 years ago, General George Washington ordered Thomas Paine’s words read to the Continental Army. 

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine Patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the thanks of man and woman.”

The words from “Common Sense” steeled the soldiers for the upcoming pivotal moment just forty-eight hours later. On Christmas night, a revived Continental Army crossed the icy Delaware River, routed the Hessians, and won the Battle of Trenton.

The unlikely win lifted the spirits of the struggling nation and saved the revolution. Six years hence, we won our independence.

Today, our country is severely divided with regard to the validity of our elections. As a result, the legitimacy of our government is routinely challenged and a growing chorus of critics claim our republic is fundamentally flawed. We must restore faith in the foundation of self-governance by holding free and fair elections, the integrity of which is unquestioned. It is time once again for veterans and patriots throughout this nation, to answer the call of duty.

As our veteran ancestors were inspired by Paine’s call at a decisive moment nearly two and a half centuries ago, I am appealing to those with military training to sign up for service one more time in 2024. Once again, we face times that try our souls. In this moment we need to join hands, tackle a threat which shakes the very foundation of our cherished Republic, and lift the spirits of a divided nation. We desperately need free and fair elections, the integrity of which is indisputable. Coming from the most respected institution in our country, I need our veterans to sign up with their county clerk to work in the polls and help restore our people’s unquestioned faith in their elections.  

We in West Virginia have set the example for election integrity in our country. Our ability to continue being the nation’s beacon of light in this critical endeavor relies on having poll workers who are skilled, dedicated, and above reproach.  

I ask our military veterans to step forward and offer their service to their county clerks in this vital civic endeavor. By going to GoVoteWV.com, anyone can sign up to serve as a poll worker for their local elections. Veterans especially need to know that our state and country need you now.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas.

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