Glen Ferris woman recognized for 66 years of dedicated voting

Fayette County officials celebrate one resident's induction into the West Virginia Voter Hall of Fame. Glen Ferris resident Virginia Anders has voted in every election for 66 years. From left to right are Fayette Prosecutor Larry Harrah, Commissioner John Lopez, Virginia Anders, Commission President Matt Wender, Secretary of State's Office representative Brittany Westfall, Commissioner Denise Scalph and County Administrator Debbie Berry.

FAYETTEVILLE — Glen Ferris resident Virginia Anders has voted in every election for 66 years. When she votes, she said she "walks a little taller."

"I remember the first time I voted. I felt so dang important," she recalled.

The voting age was 21 when she voted for the first time, and she hasn't missed an election since, even though she was once reported dead and had to cast a provisional ballot.

Fayette Clerk Kelvin Holliday said he remembers that incident, but assured the issue was straightened out and her ballot was counted.

Anders has been inducted into the West Virginia Voter Hall of Fame. To be recognized in the Hall of Fame, voters must have cast their ballots in every general election in which they are eligible to vote over the course of 50 years.

Bittany Westfall, a representative from the Secretary of State's Office, presented the certificate to Anders Friday at a Fayette County Commission meeting.

Westfall said the honor comes at a time when "many take their voting rights for granted," and reminded those present that women received the right to vote in 1920 only after a 70-year battle.

Anders said she believes it is not only important to vote, but to be an informed voter who is knowledgable about the issues.

"I have always been interested in current events and politics and have kept track of candidates to stay informed. That's a value I've passed on to my two sons and my grandson. They might not always vote, but they know the importance of it and they get a call from me to find out if they have their candidates lined up," she said.

She said getting registered to vote as early as possible wasn't something important in her home growing up, but she is happy to see initiatives to get high school seniors registered as soon as possible.

"That is wonderful because it calls their attention to it. They realize it must be important," she explained. "Voting is a habit, a good habit. It is so easy to learn bad habits, but good habits like voting come a lot harder."

She said she watches the national news as well as local news each day. She has also been closely watching the state budget issue.

— Email: splummer@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @Sarah_E_Plummer

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