Natalie E. Tennant is the Manager of State Advocacy on voting rights and elections at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law where she helps to expand the right to vote for every eligible citizen.
Natalie served as West Virginia’s 29th Secretary of State from 2009 to 2017. Throughout her administration, she was a leader in promoting open and engaging government and business-friendly initiatives. Tennant streamlined the Secretary of State’s Office to make it more efficient and cost-effective while improving services for voters, candidates, business owners, and citizens. She is proud to have returned $4 million of taxpayer money to general revenue while remaining focused on conserving tax payer dollars and ensuring government transparency.
Under Tennant’s leadership, the Secretary of State’s Office met unprecedented election challenges and promoted bold initiatives. Thanks to Tennant’s leadership, she and West Virginia emerged as a leader on the national stage in election modernization, by implementing online voter registration and helping West Virginia become the 3rd state in the nation to pass automatic voter registration. In 2010, Tennant led West Virginia as the first state to use online voting for deployed military members. It was a successful pilot project that was safe and secure for the military. While moving forward in expanding voting rights, Secretary Tennant also has a proven record of preserving the integrity of our elections. She had more investigations and convictions for election law violations than any other secretary in West Virginia's history.
Secretary Tennant showed her dedication to West Virginia’s military men and women time and time again through office initiatives. In 2015, she spearheaded bipartisan legislation that passed unanimously, creating a business waiver program which allows veterans to register their business without the initial fee. Veterans also receive a waiver for their annual report filing fee for the first four years. Natalie is a graduate of West Virginia University where she earned her Bachelors and Masters Degrees. She also served as the first woman Mountaineer Mascot.