CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Secretary of State Mac Warner is proud to announce that Ca'Sandra Smith and Hannah Caldwell, seniors at South Charleston High School, 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 Smith and Caldwell 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.
“Ca'Sandra Smith and Hannah Caldwell 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.
"Ca'Sandra and Hannah are 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. “They came highly recommended to me by an Inspired Alumnus, and they have more than lived up to the standard set in their recommendations. They are passionate about encouraging their peers to become more civically engaged for the betterment of their community and our state as a whole."
Smith has an interest in pursuing a legal career, while Caldwell wants to attend Marshall University, focusing on English as a Second Language (ESL) education.
"I’m interested in being an Honorary Secretary of State for a day because I want to see what life is like when you hold an important position in the government," Smith said. "I think that this opportunity will help me see if I could see myself in a position like Secretary Warner’s one day."
"I am very passionate about civic engagement and voter registration because I believe it is important to use my right to make my voice heard," Caldwell said. "I count it as an honor and a privilege to be the honorary Secretary of State because it is very important to see what the government does on a daily basis."
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): Inspire West Virginia Program Coordinator Olivia McCuskey, Hannah Caldwell, Secretary of State Mac Warner, Ca'Sandra Smith, and South Charleston High School Principal Michael Arbogast.