Term limits for Wyoming elected officials would improperly keep the secretary of state from seeking a third term, the Wyoming Supreme Court ruled. Facing the end of his second four-year term in January 2015, Secretary of State Max Maxfield filed a complaint for declaratory judgment against Wyoming. Maxfield challenged a rule, Section 22-5-103, that limited him to eight years in office in a 16-year span, which voters approved by initiative in 1992. The state argued that Maxfield did not present a justiciable controversy because he did not state in his complaint that he intended to run for a third term. At the request of both parties, a Laramie County certified two questions to the state Supreme Court. It answered them in Maxfield’s favor last week.
Articles about voting issues in Wyoming.
Old age and associated complications such as loss of mobility will affect almost all of us. But they shouldn’t block our most basic democratic right – the right to vote — said Lindi Kirkbride of AARP Wyoming. Kirkbride is especially concerned for senior citizens, but all Wyomingites in general, if Senate File 134 become law and residents are forced to show picture identification at polling places. “The scenario is it’s a terribly nasty day,” Kirkbride said. “Someone in a walker wants to go vote. The poll checkers are there and they’re trying to determine, ‘Oh, yours is expired. You can’t vote because your license is expired, sorry.’ It’s going to cause these big lines.” The bill won’t become law this year. But next year could be different.
A proposal requiring Wyoming voters to show a valid photo identification card to cast their ballot has been pulled from consideration at the state Capitol. The bill failed to get out of a Senate committee on Tuesday. The sponsor of the bill, Republican state Sen. Ogden Driskill of Devils Tower, said the proposal needs more work.
Wyoming: Senate considers bill that would require voters to show photo ID to cast ballot | The Republic
A Wyoming state Senate committee is considering a bill that would require voters to show a valid photo identification card to cast their ballot. The Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee heard testimony on the measure Thursday and will discuss it again on Tuesday, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reported. Republican state Sen. Ogden Driskill, of Devils Tower, the primary sponsor of the bill, said it is not an attempt to stop anyone from voting but would verify voters’ identity and ensure they are in the correct precinct. “A man’s vote is probably the most sacred privilege we’ve got in the United States,” he said. The bill would require voters to show an election judge a valid ID issued by the federal government or the state of Wyoming.
An error discovered in the Fremont County Commission District 2 primary election could change the outcome of the race that unofficially put the winner on top by a slim 20-vote margin. Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese anticipated meeting with the canvassing board at 1 p.m. Thursday in Lander to discuss the 30 voters who should not have cast ballots in the District 2 race. ”They got ballots that had the commissioners’ race on it, and they should not have gotten those ballots.” Freese said. “They shouldn’t have voted on commissioners, in other words.” Freese said the error happened only in the 18-1 Big Bend precinct and with the District 2 race. ”It’s fine everywhere else,” she said. “Every other race has not been affected. This is the only one.”
Attorneys for a Wyoming-based free market think tank broadened the scope of their lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission on Monday. Wyoming Liberty Group (WyLiberty) attorneys filed a motion for preliminary injunction in Free Speech v. Federal Election Commission, a case that began in Wyoming federal court last month. The motion calls for a nationwide injunction against campaign finance regulations that require grassroots groups to register and report with the federal government just to criticize it, according to a news release from the group. Last month’s lawsuit asked for a preliminary injunction on behalf of three Wyoming residents who formed a grassroots organization called “Free Speech.” Since the Free Speech case began, it has grown more significant, said Stephen Klein, staff attorney for Wyoming Liberty Group.
Fremont County is balking at paying legal fees for a group of American Indians whose court challenge forced the county to abandon its system of at-large voting for commissioners. Five members of the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes won a ruling from U.S. District Judge Alan B. Johnson of Cheyenne in 2010 that at-large voting in the county violated the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the Indian vote. A federal appeals court early this year rejected Fremont County’s appeal. On appeal, the county didn’t contest Johnson’s finding that at-large voting violated the law. Instead, it challenged the judge’s rejection of its proposals to remediate the violation by creating a single, Indian majority district centered on the Wind River Indian Reservation while continuing with at-large voting in the rest of the county. In rejecting the county’s plans, Johnson wrote that they “appear to be devised solely for the purpose of segregating citizens into separate voting districts on the basis of race without sufficient justification, contrary to the defendants’ assertions.”
Wyoming’s newly adopted legislative redistricting plan is under fire from a group of citizens who filed a lawsuit Thursday claiming it fails to give the state’s less-populous counties fair representation. The lawsuit, filed in state District Court in Laramie, charges that state lawmakers were careful in the legislative session that ended last month to make sure that incumbents didn’t have to run against each other. But it claims the Legislature only gave lip service to the notion of making sure the less-populated counties got a fair voice. Gillette lawyer Nick Carter filed the lawsuit Thursday in Laramie County District Court. It seeks a court order to block Gov. Matt Mead and the other four statewide elected officials from implementing the redistricting plan.
Despite expectations of a long, contentious debate, the Legislature’s 2012 redistricting bill sailed through the House on Wednesday on voice vote — with only one minor change. House Bill 42, sponsored by the Joint Interim Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions, comes up for a second vote today. Expectations of at least one amendment to change the configuration in the southwest corner of Wyoming faded Wednesday.
In 2010, Chris Rothfuss was elected to the Wyoming Senate, even though registered Republicans and independents in his Laramie district didn’t have a choice in the matter. Now, the Laramie Democrat wants to ensure that doesn’t happen again. Today, he plans to introduce legislation that would change the way political primaries in Wyoming are held. Currently, voters from the two major parties choose their general election nominee during the August primary election; minor parties, such as the Libertarians, nominate their own candidates for the November ballot. Under Rothfuss’ proposal, statewide and legislative candidates from all parties — as well as unaffiliated candidates — would run against each other in a single primary race. All registered voters would be asked to pick two candidates, and the top two vote-getters would then face each other in the general election.