THE Secretary of State is West Virginia's chief elections officer, and the office's business and licensing division performs important functions for the private sector.
The Daily Mail endorses Republican challenger Brian Savilla, a teacher and former member of the House of Delegates who also has worked for a computer company.
Savilla has the skills to continue the modernization of the office, but he also sees room for improvement - namely, a belief that West Virginia should require voters to present photo IDs at the polls.
The current occupant of the office, Democrat Natalie Tennant, has done some good things.
The business and licensing division now makes it possible for businesses to complete some filings online - 45,000 today, up from only 9,000 four years ago. The office also has lowered fees for businesses.
Tennant's office also played a role in investigating Lincoln County misdeeds that led to federal prosecutions and removal of several elected officials from office.
But all that would continue under Savilla, and he differs with Tennant on that key point: photo IDs.
Tennant contends that current verification procedures are adequate and do not need to be improved.
Savilla is "100 percent for" photo IDs for voters. He points out that seniors will have to have such identification next year anyway, because Social Security is going to direct deposit of benefits.
Savilla would push West Virginia to require voters to present photo IDs. Tennant would not.