WV Secretary of State Speaks to ALMBS Citizens

West Virginia Secretary of State Mac Warner is serving in his second term. He is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a graduate of the West Virginia University School of Law School. He earned Master of Law degrees from the University of Virginia Law School and the Army's Judge Advocate General's School.

During his 23-year career in the United States Army, Secretary Warner served on four continents, deploying to military hot spots around the world. On one assignment, Warner took part in activities involving the capture and transfer of suspected war criminals to the International Court of Justice at the Hague. In other assignments, he served as an artilleryman, prosecutor, defense counsel, command adviser, and law instructor. He held a variety of leadership and teaching positions, culminating as the Chief of International Law for the US Army Europe in Heidelberg, Germany. He also served on the staff at the U.S. Army War College.

Following military retirement, Secretary Warner worked with the U.S. State Department in Afghanistan for five years. There, he served as Chief of the Organizational Capacity Building Section of the world's largest Rule of Law program. He led over 100 Afghan lawyers, translators and administrative personnel, along with a team of international subject matter experts in advising the Afghan Supreme Court, Attorney General's office, Ministry of Justice, and Ministry of Women's Affairs.

Secretary Warner was first elected to the position in November 2016 and took his oath of office in January 2017. He quickly went to work focusing on election integrity and cyber security. Working closely with county clerks, the Office of the Secretary of State posted record-setting numbers during his first four-year term. In all, West Virginia registered over 255,880 new voters -- an incredible number in a non-election year -- 67,000 of whom were high school students.

During his first term in office, the Warner administration cleaned up voter rolls by deleting more than 364,000 deceased, duplicate, outdated, inaccurate, and convicted felon voter files – which is about 25% of West Virginia’s total registered voter list. Under his supervision, WV implemented voter identification and a vigorous anti-fraud unit, thereby dramatically increasing voter assurance in election integrity.

Secretary Warner’s passion for transparent, fair and fraud-free elections has generated a renewed confidence in West Virginia voters. Because of his military background and keen interest in election cyber security, Secretary Warner has earned West Virginia national attention as a leader in protecting voter databases and elections systems. He has teamed with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to produce the premier program to educate the American public on election security, foreign influence, and protective measures against cyber threats to elections.

Secretary Warner and his administration ran an exemplary 2020 election cycle during the COVID-19 pandemic, and in doing so, offered WV citizens more ways to vote than any other state. With responsible preparation and cooperation with state and local election officials, he offered electronic voting to military, overseas citizens, and voters with certain disabilities. Resultantly, the November 2020 General Election in WV had the second highest voter participation in state history with more than 802,000 people casting ballots.

As the state’s registrar for businesses, Secretary Warner worked with the WVSOS Business & Licensing Division to open the WV One Stop Business Center. This single location houses a number of state agencies all working together to make business registration quick and convenient. The WV One Stop is a ground-breaking five-agency single-location cooperative effort, and it serves as an example of state government being run like a business. In fact, the WV One Stop's motto is, "Working at the speed of business!"

Secretary Warner is a sixth generation West Virginian. Born and raised in Kanawha County, he is the third of six sons of the late Brud and Margaret McCoy Warner. He is a graduate of George Washington High School in Charleston where he played football, wrestled, and was captain of the track team.

Secretary Warner and his wife Debbie Law Warner have been married for 39 years, and they raised four children in Monongalia County – all of whom are serving, or have served, in the United States military. The Warners have five grandchildren.

For more information on the WV Secretary of State visit: https://sos.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx