CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Natalie Tennant has had a busy four years as West Virginia's secretary of state, gaining experience that makes her the better choice for the office in this election.Tennant, a Democrat who grew up in Fairmont and a graduate of WVU, took heat from members of her own party earlier this year after a convicted felon serving a prison sentence filed to run for president in the Democratic primary. Thousands of West Virginians voted for the inmate, apparently in protest against President Obama.Tennant rightly points out that her job as the state's chief elections officer requires her to make sure everyone who meets the filing requirements has access to the ballot. She has a number of accomplishments to her credit, including:Businesses are increasingly able to file necessary documents electronically, saving time and money for both companies and the state.
The office pursued suspicions of election fraud in Lincoln County and worked with federal investigators and prosecutors on cases that resulted in five convictions there.She has been willing to test pilot projects, such as online voting for people serving in the military, projects that could help improve voter access to polls in the future.
Finally, while many state Democrats work to distance themselves from President Obama, Tennant acknowledges attending the Democratic National Convention. Voters in West Virginia can separate their opinions of the president from their opinions of her, she said.Besides, at one point in her life she was a low-income parent, one of the 47 percent. Her daughter, who had a heart problem at birth, had been denied health coverage because of the pre-existing condition. "It was emotional for me when Obamacare passed," she said. The Affordable Care Act means her daughter will have health insurance, and thus access to medical care.We endorse Tennant for secretary of state. Early voting begins on Oct. 24. Election Day is Nov. 6.