Voters in Wyoming would not be able to switch their political party affiliation on primary election day under a measure passed Tuesday by the state Senate. The bill was approved on a 20-10 vote and sent to the House of Representatives, which is working on its own version of the measure. Wyoming currently allows voters to change party affiliation on primary or general election day. That has some members of the Republican Party, the dominant political party in the state, complaining that Democratic crossover voters can unfairly influence Wyoming’s GOP primaries.Full Article: Wyoming Senate OKs Bill Stopping Political Party Changes | Wyoming News | US News.
Articles about voting issues in Wyoming.
The Wyoming House of Representatives will debate a bill that would require voters to present photo identification at the polls. Sponsored by Casper Republican Chuck Gray, House Bill 192 seeks to prevent voter fraud in Wyoming. The bill passed a legislative committee Tuesday, even after a representative from the Secretary of State’s office told lawmakers that she was unaware of any recent reported cases of voter fraud in Wyoming. In addition to requiring identification to verify one’s identity at the polls, the legislation also grants authority to the secretary of state to set parameters for acceptable forms of photo I.D., something not currently outlined in state statute. Currently, 35 states require some form of photo I.D. to vote. Wyoming is not among them.Full Article: Bill would require Wyoming voters to present photo I.D. at the polls | Wyoming News | trib.com.
An all-Republican Wyoming legislative committee defeated a GOP-backed bill Tuesday that would have prevented voters from changing party affiliation in the months before a primary, but the panel advanced a Democrat’s proposal to institute ranked-choice voting. The party-affiliation bill sought to discourage people from switching parties in order to vote in another party’s primary. Republicans in Wyoming increasingly complain that Democratic crossover unfairly influences Wyoming’s GOP primaries. All five members of the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee — all of whom are Republicans — opposed or had reservations about the change, however. “I can’t find hardly anybody in my district who sees this as an issue. In fact, quite the opposite,” said Sen. Bill Landen, R-Casper, the committee chairman.Full Article: Wyoming lawmakers nix GOP-backed party registration bill - Fairfield Citizen.
The Wyoming Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee on Thursday morning took testimony on a bill that aims to discourage crossover voting in Wyoming primary elections, but held-over taking a vote on the proposal until Tuesday. Committee members also said they would take more testimony on the bill at that time. Senate File 32 would bar people from changing their party registration in the ten weeks leading up to the primary election. That date coincides with the first day for candidates to file to run in a Wyoming primary.Full Article: Wyoming Senate Committee Takes Testimony On Crossover Voting.
A bill to open up Wyoming to mail-in ballot elections failed to gain any traction against a headwind of concerns about voter fraud and uninformed voters having an easier time participating in the system. House Bill 36 would have allowed county commissioners to choose to run state and federal elections through a mail-in ballot system. It failed on a 4-3 vote Thursday in the House Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee, with Reps. Aaron Clausen, R-Douglas; Dan Furphy, R-Laramie; and Chairman Tyler Lindholm, R-Sundance, voting in favor. Two freshman members were excused from the meeting and didn’t enter a proxy vote.Full Article: Mail-in ballots bill dies | Wyoming | gillettenewsrecord.com.
A newly elected state senator is introducing a bill to address crossover voting in Wyoming’s elections, despite a lack of appetite by the committee that sets the rules for elections across the state. Sponsored by Senator-elect Bo Biteman, R-Ranchester, the bill — if enacted — would require voters looking to switch their party to fill out an application before a notary or election official, which they would then be required to file with the county clerk. Like previous versions of the bill, the legislation also sets parameters for when voters can change their party, and would prevent voters from changing their party affiliation during the roughly 10-week period between candidates officially filing for office and the primary election.Full Article: Wyoming lawmaker introduces legislation to tackle crossover voting | National News | kpvi.com.
In the future, Wyomingites could be filling out their ballots from the comfort of their own home. A proposed bill to allow counties to move to mail-in ballot elections cleared a major hurdle Wednesday, passing out of the Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Interim Committee on an 11-2 vote. But whether or not it finds support in the full Legislature next session remains to be seen. The bill would give county clerks the option to switch over their elections to a mail-in ballot. Voters would receive a ballot at their residence and could drop it off or mail it back to the county clerk’s office, or drop it off at one of several secured ballot drop boxes across the county. The bill also mandates the county have one polling center open on the day of the election where voters could drop off a ballot or fill one out.Full Article: Mail-in ballot proposal for Wyoming clears major hurdle | Local News | wyomingnews.com.
Wyoming: FBI partners with Wyoming, Cheyenne officials to prevent election hacking | Wyoming Tribune Eagle
Election officials and candidates from across the state came to Cheyenne on Friday to get an intensive course in cybersecurity from the FBI. The event was a chance for the FBI to partner with the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office to help educate county clerks and candidates for elected office. Experts from both government agencies spent Friday covering types of threats the group could face, how to keep their organizations secure and what steps they should take if they become the target of a suspected hack. “I call it Cyber 101. We want to educate them regarding potential cyber threats, but also the tools available to them to potentially mitigate the threats,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Calvin Shivers. “We wanted to take a proactive posture and educate our elected officials, our candidates, our clerks of court regarding potential threats.Full Article: FBI partners with Wyoming, Cheyenne officials to prevent election hacking | Local News | wyomingnews.com.
The morning after his GOP primary election loss, Foster Friess asked other state party gubernatorial candidates whether they would support banning Democrats from switching parties on primary day. In an email to Wyoming GOP chairman Frank Eathorne and to each Republican candidate or a representative of their campaign — with the exception of Gordon — Friess said voting results didn’t reflect his vision of Wyoming’s political makeup. “It seems like the Democrats have figured out this party switch deal to their advantage,” Friess said in the email. “I guess there’s 114,000 registered Republicans and 17,000 registered Democrats. No way is that the actual mix, and with Trump getting 70% of the vote, it shows how the Democrats have been able to control our elections with putting on a Republican coat.”Full Article: Friess suggests election-law change following loss | WyoFile.
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.Full Article: Wyoming county clerks draft mail-in ballots bill for Legislature | Local News | wyomingnews.com.
Wyoming is about halfway there. In an omnibus appropriations bill passed by the U.S. Congress this spring, legislators designated $380 million in elections security grants to the states, and Wyoming will be getting a $3 million chunk of those funds. The grants require a 5 percent match from states, working out to $150,000 from Wyoming. A formula breaking down distribution by county has yet to be hashed out, but will likely factor in population and individual county needs. The funds will be provided through the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which last disbursed payments for upgrades nationally in 2010. The last time Wyoming saw any of that money was in 2005, however, when the current generation of machines were bought for the 2006 elections.Full Article: State gets half of needed funds for voting equipment | Local News | codyenterprise.com.
The Wyoming Legislature will look at a measure to create a trust fund to maintain its voting systems going forward. The 2016 election saw an unprecedented number of attempts to interfere with states’ voting systems, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Wyoming was not among the 21 states that reported attempted hacking, but election security experts warned regional lawmakers recently that the Cowboy State could be a target for nefarious actors looking to undermine confidence in the American democratic process. Outdated voting equipment in Wyoming was replaced after funding was allocated by the federal government via the 2002 Help America Vote Act. But more than a decade later, many election custodians say that voting equipment has reached the end of its useful life, said Kai Schon, state elections director for the Wyoming Secretary of State.Full Article: Lawmakers to consider trust fund to maintain aging voting systems | Local News | wyomingnews.com.
Gov. Matt Mead on Thursday selected a former Wyoming secretary of state candidate and Laramie County prosecutor as the next secretary of state. Ed Buchanan will serve the remainder of Ed Murray’s term as the state’s election and business registration authority after Murray stepped down in early February over allegations of sexual misconduct. Mead said in a news release that Buchanan’s experience in the Legislature, military career and job as an attorney and prosecutor made him a good choice for the office. “Ed (Buchanan) is committed to Wyoming and to the responsibilities of the office,” Mead said in a news release.Full Article: Mead picks Buchanan for Wyoming secretary of state | News | wyomingnews.com.
The Plan for Aging Voting Equipment Task Force kicked into gear in Park County, with a public brainstorming session Feb. 20 at the Cody Library on ways of lowering election costs in order to cover what’s expected to be an $8-10 million bill for new voting machines in the state. … As the state struggles to find funding for future elections, it is exploring ways to lower costs by asking voters how they would feel about the consolidation of polling places, casting ballots in county vote centers or switching to a vote-by-mail system.Full Article: Solution needed for aging voting machines | Local News | codyenterprise.com.
Wyoming: Secretary of State Ed Murray resigns; move caps dramatic fall for Cheyenne politician | Casper Star Tribune
Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray announced his resignation late Friday afternoon, effective immediately. Murray said he has been “devastated” by two recent accusations of sexual misconduct and that he is now “unable to focus entirely on serving the good people of Wyoming.” … The resignation offers a dramatic conclusion to a two-month period during which the Cheyenne businessman went from the likely frontrunner to replace Gov. Matt Mead to a private citizen. Murray’s troubles began in mid-December when a woman named Tatiana Maxwell accused him in a public Facebook post of sexually assaulting her in the early 1980s when Murray and Maxwell were both working at a Cheyenne law firm. Murray strenuously denied the allegation.Full Article: Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Murray resigns; move caps dramatic fall for Cheyenne politician | 307 Politics | trib.com.
Wyoming voting officials have started looking into replacing aging election equipment across the state. A panel of state officials has been convened to determine whether new machines are needed and how much replacement would cost, as well as where to seek funding. “The State of Wyoming is responsible for providing citizens with an election process that can be trusted. Wyoming is leading the charge with this Task Force to ensure that no county is left with voting equipment at risk of deteriorating,” State Election Director Kai Schon said in a statement.Full Article: Murray announces plan to evaluate Wyoming's voting equipment | Wyoming | gillettenewsrecord.com.
State and county officials have formed a task force to address Wyoming’s aging election equipment. Teton County Clerk Sherry Daigle said it’s now ten years old and the technology has gotten behind the times. “Technology is outdated the day you put it into effect because it moves so fast,” she said. “And a lot of the equipment we have is, you know, they’re computer scanners and readers. So we wanted to make sure we’re not behind the eight ball.” Daigle said the challenge will be coming up with the money. It will cost the state $8 to 10 million dollars to replace the state’s current equipment.
After a heated 2016 election season, Wyoming lawmakers are looking to implement several new regulations relating to political campaigns during elections. During its meetings this week in Lander, the Wyoming Legislature Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee advanced several draft bills for further consideration relating to election issues. And some of those pieces of proposed legislation pertain to a slew of controversial incidents in Wyoming in 2016. Just weeks before the 2016 general election, the Wyoming Republican Party filed a complaint with the secretary of state’s office alleging left-wing political groups based in Laramie engaged in shadowy tactics stemming from a series of mailers critical of Republican candidates. The mailers described in the GOP complaint alleged that the source of funding, a group known as Forward Wyoming Advocacy, was connected to another organization, ELLA WY, which was hired by several Democratic candidates for consulting services. While any firm connection between candidates, their campaigns and Forward Wyoming Advocacy is yet unclear, Republicans alleged it constituted a violation of Wyoming election law.Full Article: Wyoming election law proposals grow from 2016 controversies | Wyoming News | trib.com.
Wyoming: Secretary of State rejects White House request for voter data, citing federal overreach | Casper Star-Tribune
Wyoming is joining more than 20 states in refusing to turn over public voter data to a federal commission investigating the integrity of elections. “I’m going to decline to provide any Wyoming voter information,” Secretary of State Ed Murray told the Star-Tribune on Monday. “It’s not sitting well with me.” The Presidential Advisory Commission on Voter Integrity sent a request to all 50 states last week, asking them to turn over any publicly available personal voter data. Many state officials, from across the political spectrum, have declined to do so.Full Article: Wyoming rejects White House request for voter data, citing federal overreach | Wyoming Politics | trib.com.
Wyoming: Secretary of State Won’t Release Voter Info to ‘Election Integrity’ Commission | Planet Jackson Hole
Wyoming voter information is safe from federal meddling. Republican Secretary of State Ed Murray announced Monday he will not provide voter info to President Trump’s Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. “I am going to safeguard the privacy of Wyoming’s voters because of my strong belief in a citizen’s right of privacy,” Murray said in a statement. “I believe elections are the responsibility of the states under the United States Constitution and I do believe this request could lead to a federal overreach.” In his statement, Murray also noted skepticism about the commission’s intent: “I am not at all convinced that it has clearly stated its purpose is connected to the information requested.” … Wyoming is among 44 states that have refused to provide the commission with voter data, CNN reported Tuesday.Full Article: Wyoming Won’t Release Voter Info to ‘Election Integrity’ Commission – Planet Jackson Hole.