By Betty Gandee

Rielly Taylor was named as an Honorary Secretary of the State by the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office. Photo Rielly Taylor.

One Clay County High School senior received the honor of being chosen for Honorary Secretary of State. Rielly Taylor has an interest in state government and a love for civic engagement.  Those two things are just a few of the qualities looked for when choosing the recipient of this honor.

Each year the West Virginia Secretary of State’s office offers this program to a deserving junior or senior who is active with registering people to vote in their schools and community.  Honorees spend time in the Secretary of State’s office shadowing Secretary of State Mac Warner during a typical work day.  These students learn about the core functions of the office.

The purpose of this program is to encourage students and teachers to engage young adults to become active and educated voters.  Last year, 49 students were selected for the program.  The selected students have proven to their school, community, and state that they want to see more young people involved in West Virginia politics and gave committed to registering, informing, and encouraging their fellow students to vote.

Rielly says this was a great experience. “I got to put myself in Mac Warner’s shoes and see how registering young voters puts people in those positions who work towards making WV a better state.”  Taylor believes that young voters have a much larger impact in the political decisions than they realize and says she will be always be a strong advocate of registering and voting young.