CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Secretary of State Mac Warner is proud to announce that Charleston Catholic High School seniors Andrew Willis and Madison Settle have been selected for the “Honorary Secretary of State” program for their efforts to register their classmates and neighbors to vote.
The “Honorary Secretary of State” program is joint venture between the Secretary of State’s Office and Inspire West Virginia – a non-partisan organization aimed at encouraging eligible high school juniors and seniors to register to vote. Inspire-WV hosts a year-long program to engage West Virginia’s young adults to become active and educated voters regardless of their political affiliation.
On Wednesday morning in a ceremony held in the Secretary of State’s Office in the State Capitol, Secretary Warner introduced Willis and Settle and congratulated them and their high school.
“Registering to vote should be an important rite of passage for young adults,” Warner said. “When young people vote, they reaffirm everything our forefathers fought for and help keep the flame of democracy lit for the next generation.
“Andrew Willis and Madison Settle have taken the time to educate their peers on the importance of the election process by getting them registered to vote. Millennials across this nation, and especially in West Virginia are voting, they’re running for office and they’re getting elected. Continuing to give this upcoming generation a voice in their government will be one way for us to keep them here in West Virginia,” Warner said.
"Andrew Willis and Madison Settle are both exceptional Inspired Leaders who have displayed both passion and persistence to register and engage their peers in the democratic process,” said Olivia McCuskey, Program Coordinator for Inspire-WV. “Both of these young people came highly recommended to me by an Inspired Alumnus, and they have more than lived up to the standard set in their recommendation. They are both passionate about encouraging their peers to become more civically engaged for the betterment of their community and our state as a whole."
Willis has plans to attend college and law school with a focus on public interest law and politics. Settle has an interest in the legal profession, as well as becoming a professor and an author.
“As someone who would possibly seek the position of Secretary of State one day, I jumped at the opportunity to shadow," said Willis. "As the chief elections official in West Virginia, it would be amazing to be at the head of an office whose job is to do what I love so much--make people energized to vote, and pioneer new ways to help young people get involved.”
"I’m interested in voter registration and civic engagement because I've worked for political campaigns in the past and I believe that the greatest ideas come from a multitude of minds banding together" Settle said. "I'm excited for the opportunity to observe and interact with the Secretary of State and his staff because I consider them some of the community's best due to their willingness to put themselves out there and do something big."
Secretary Warner indicated that a total of 16 students have qualified this year for the “Honorary Secretary of State” recognition.
Pictured (from left to right): Secretary of State Mac Warner; Senator Ed Gaunch, R-Kanawha; Charleston Catholic High School seniors Madison Settle and Andrew Willis; Inspire West Virginia Program Coordinator Kathryn Ryan; and Delegate Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha.
Pictured (from left to right): Secretary of State Mac Warner; Charleston Catholic High School seniors Madison Settle and Andrew Willis; House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha; and Inspire West Virginia Program Coordinator Kathryn Ryan.