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.”
The 30 illegal ballots could affect whether incumbent Dennis Christensen or challenger Larry Allen is the victor. Unofficial results from Tuesday’s primary put Christensen on top with 541 votes compared to Allen’s 521. Challengers Tim Salazar received 481 votes and Richard Denke earned 147 in the race, according to initial results. Freese said she would provide the canvassing board members with a recommended course of action, but it would ultimately be their decision.
“They are their own people, and if they vote against me we’ll be doing something else,” Freese said. Wyoming statutes governing elections and recounts for the canvassing board provide guidance in such cases.