MARTINSBURG -- West Virginia Secretary of State Betty Ireland, along with Paul Hutter, General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, and Ann Brown, FACHE, Medical Director of the Martinsburg VA Medical Center, joined together at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center to focus attention on efforts to ensure that residents and patients of VA facilities receive the assistance they need to register and vote.

"West Virginians have a distinguished history of military service and I am pleased with the dedication shown by our VA facilities to help make sure veterans can make their voices heard this November." Secretary Ireland said.

The official policy of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs was recently amended to permit state and local election officials, as well as non-partisan groups, to conduct voter registration drives at VA facilities. During Secretary Ireland's visit to the Martinsburg VA, officials from the Berkeley County Clerk's Office were on hand to provide voting assistance training to the Martinsburg VA Medical Center staff. Similar training efforts are ongoing at other VA Medical Centers around the state.

"Veterans have performed a great service to our country and every effort will be made to ensure they have the information necessary to register and vote." Secretary Ireland said.

The deadline for registering to vote in the November election is October 14th. For information on registering to vote or requesting an absentee ballot, contact the West Virginia Secretary of State's Office at 866-SOS-VOTE and or visit www.WVvotes.com.

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