Wyoming lawmakers are exploring the possibility of allowing counties to administer mail-in ballot systems, but one of the legislators in the committee that could move it forward said it’s unlikely it will go anywhere. For the last several years, county clerks from around Wyoming have been discussing the possibility of elections by mail. Several factors led to the notion, such as aging voting equipment that will be expensive to replace, difficulty finding suitable polling places and a shortage of election judges, said Debra Lee, Laramie County clerk. The expense of it all, she said, is becoming hard for clerks. And with Wyoming in an ongoing fiscal crunch, there’s little money available on the state or local levels to address the problems.
“It’s increasingly difficult,” she said. “Even in Laramie County, where we went to vote centers and considerably reduced the number of polling places and, consequently, the number of election judges, it’s still challenging.”
Clerks have approached the Legislature calling for funding for a study, but so far haven’t been successful. “That was disconcerting to us election officials,” Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese said.
Freese said the clerks went ahead and hosted meetings around the state where voters were invited to learn about the issues. A survey was then conducted where just more than 1,000 Wyoming voters participated, giving their feedback on what they heard.