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Jefferson County League of Women Voters to launch election forums

By Staff | Dec 2, 2016

In the wake of this year’s tumultuous presidential election, the Jefferson County League of Women Voters is working to create a partnership with a handful of county organizations to develop a series of forums to examine the nation’s electoral system in electing public officials, league representatives said.

The LWV has already approached the local chapter of the NAACP in Harpers Ferry, and administrators at the Robert C. Byrd Center of Congressional History and Education at Shepherd University to participate.

“We all saw in this election cycle a rejection of the sort of status quo of our system’s representative government,” said Deborah Royalty, president of the LWV. “And we saw some serious questioning of the election process, and accusations of voter fraud, rigged systems, and a growing call to eliminate the electoral college.”

According to Royalty, “the LWV believes that an honest, transparent political process, and an educated and informed citizenry is the best way to maintain a democracy.”

To encourage an informed citizenry, the LWV is proposing an ongoing series of forums and community engagements to discuss the “democratic process,” Royalty said.

Royalty asked Jefferson County Board of Education officials Monday to authorize a representative from Jefferson County Schools “to join our conversation in developing the topics and the format for this series.”

Jefferson County BOE President Scott Sudduth said the board would be “happy to participate” in the forum series, and will place it on the agenda for the next BOE meeting.

The LWV will meet with Shepherd University professors Raymond Smock and Jay Wyatt, who both oversee the Robert C. Byrd Center, on Dec. 13 to discuss the forum series.

“We’re just beginning the conversation,” Royalty said. “We want to bring in as many people to the conversation as possible to develop the series, and how we are going to get it out to the public and have the public participate.”