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Voter education efforts underway for WV LGBTQ and Black voters

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CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – As Election Day approaches, some West Virginia organizations and citizen groups are busy mobilizing their voting base to encourage early voting and voting by mail.

In West Virginia 1 in 5 LGBTQ people are not registered to vote.

“There’s just a lot of apathy in our society,” said Fairness West Virginia Executive Director Andrew Schneider.

“There’s just a lot of apathy in our society”

Andrew Schneider, Fairness West Virginia

Schneider says LGBTQ people are susceptible to discrimination in the state because they’re not included in West Virginia’s Human Rights Act.

“We see that many transgender people experience discrimination and harassment at the polls simply because their appearance doesn’t match up with the photo on their driver’s license,” said Schneider.

“We see that many transgender people experience discrimination and harassment at the polls simply because their appearance doesn’t match up with the photo on their driver’s license”

Andrew Schneider, Fairness West Virginia

That’s why the organization has put out a transgender voting guide as well as a voter pledge that has ways to stay safe at the polls and help others make sure their vote is counted.

In Charleston’s West Side, mobile voter registration drives are already underway through the WV Black Voter Impact Initiative.

The organization has released this a voting guide for black voters.

Katonya Hart has been active with the voter registration drives and she says they’ve seen a lot of people coming out to register.

Still, she says it’s one thing to register to vote and another to get to the polling places.

“During the primary, there were some areas that had road construction on both sides of the polling places, there were some polling stations at the last minute removed from the location,” she said.

The last day to register to vote in the state of West Virginia is on October 13th.

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