The commonplace Wyoming voter tradition of changing party affiliation at the polls on primary day will live on after a legislative committee killed a bill Thursday that would have made it more difficult for Democrats to vote in Republican primaries and vice versa. Wyoming doesn’t allow cross-party voting on primary day, but voters may switch parties moments before voting. Under the proposal, voters would have been allowed to switch no fewer than 30 days before primary day. The bill made it through the Wyoming House before dying on a 3-0 vote in the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee. Political parties are private organizations and members only should decide which candidates will represent the parties in the general election, Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Matt Micheli, told the committee in support of the bill.
Articles about voting issues in Wyoming.
The Wyoming House on Monday killed a bill that would have extended the period for counting absentee ballots. House Corporations Committee Chairman Dan Zwonitzer (R, HD-43, Cheyenne) sponsored HB68 that would have required county clerks to count absentee ballots received by the clerk after polls closed. Under existing law, clerks count only ballots delivered to them before polls close. Zwonitzer said the measure would have required the clerks to count absentee ballots postmarked the day before an election, provided they were received before a county’s canvassing board met to certify election results the following Friday. County clerks had expressed their dissatisfaction with the bill in a committee hearing last week. Their opposition came through during floor debate Monday. Rep. Lloyd Larsen (R, HD-54, Lander), said his clerk had lobbied him to vote against the bill. When she calls, he listens, he said. Other representatives said they likewise had been called by their county clerks.
A committee of Wyoming lawmakers on Monday voted down a bill creating a presidential primary election, instead opting to study the issue during the interim. The vote in the House Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee came after concerns were raised by county clerks as to the specifics of how such an election would work, as well as a need by the state Republican Party to change its bylaws to allow for a primary. As proposed, House Bill 201 would have set a separate presidential primary election in April, in addition to the regular primary in August and the general election in November. Although not written into the bill itself, Rep. David Northrup, R-Powell, said the intent is for the political parties to foot the cost of the presidential primary.
The House Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee on Thursday voted down a bill to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. But it advanced bills concerning a system for permanent absentee ballots, election recounts and the date at which an absentee ballot must be accepted. Committee members voted down a voter ID bill that was brought by committee member Rep. Lars Lone, R-Cheyenne. Lone said he was given a ballot for an incorrect precinct when he went to vote and said if he had been required to show identification, that situation could have been avoided. Lone said he was not bringing the bill because of voter fraud concerns.
Wyoming: House Passes Bill Which Would Automatically Restore Voting Rights of Some Nonviolent Felons | KTWO
A person convicted in Wyoming of a nonviolent felony who completes their entire sentence on or after Jan. 1, 2010, would have their voting rights automatically restored under a bill passed Thursday by the Wyoming House of Representatives. House Bill 75 passed on third reading by a vote of 41-17 with two lawmakers excused. The measure would require people convicted of a nonviolent felony who completed their sentence — including probation and parole — before 2010 to fill out a request form and be found eligible before their voting rights could be restored.
As Republican legislatures across the country pass various restrictions on voting, Wyoming remains one of the easiest states in which to cast a ballot. Residents do not need to provide identification when they go to the polls, and they can even register to vote on the day of the election. But House Bill 167, filed at the Wyoming Legislature last week, would change that by requiring people to show photo identification when they go to vote. The measure is sponsored by Rep. Lars Lone, R-Cheyenne, who said that during the general election in November he was not asked for photo identification. “I was given a ballot for (House) District 44, and I’m in 12,” he said.
The House Judiciary Committee advanced bills Thursday that would expand automatic restoration of voting rights to nonviolent felons, create a more defined system for returning a victim’s property held as evidence and allow the state Department of Enterprise Technology Services to conduct background checks on employees. A bill introduced by Rep. James Byrd, D-Cheyenne, would automatically restore voting rights to more nonviolent felons. House Bill 75 eliminates the application process for nonviolent felons who have completed their sentence to have their voting rights restored. Instead, it directs the Wyoming Department of Corrections to automatically issue certificates of voting rights restoration to affected people if their conviction was in Wyoming. Felons convicted outside of Wyoming or by a federal law would have to submit a request to the Department of Corrections.
Wyoming: Bill would give election officials more time to accept mail-in ballots | Wyoming Tribune Eagle
State lawmakers will consider a bill this month that would give county clerks additional time after the primary and general elections to count mail-in absentee ballots. With a number of close races in 2016, absentee ballots can make a difference in the outcome, said Rep. Dan Zwonitzer, a Cheyenne Republican who is sponsoring House Bill 68. State law currently allows county clerks to accept mail-in ballots until 7 p.m. on the day of the election. But Zwonitzer said there are people who don’t mail in their ballots until a day before the election. If there are any delays at the post office, county clerks don’t receive the mail until after the election, and the ballots cannot be counted, he said.
Wyoming: Bill would expand automatic restoration of voting rights to eligible non-violent Wyoming felons | Casper Star Tribune
More nonviolent felons who have completed their entire sentence – including probation and parole – would have their voting rights automatically restored under a bill introduced in the Wyoming Legislature. Under the current system, nonviolent felons who completed their sentence before Jan. 1, 2016, were convicted under federal law or who were sentenced out of state can have their rights restored, but must first complete an application process. Felons who were sentenced in Wyoming and completed their sentence after Jan. 1, 2016, would be exempt from the application requirement.
Wyoming: Bill would expand automatic restoration of voting rights to some felons | Wyoming Tribune Eagle
More nonviolent felons who have completed their entire sentence – including probation and parole – would have their voting rights automatically restored under a bill introduced in the Wyoming Legislature. Under the current system, nonviolent felons who completed their sentence before Jan. 1, 2016, were convicted under federal law or who were sentenced out of state can have their rights restored, but must first complete an application process. Felons who were sentenced in Wyoming and completed their sentence after Jan. 1, 2016, would be exempt from the application requirement. House Bill 75 eliminates the application process and instead directs the Wyoming Department of Corrections to automatically issue certificates of voting rights restoration to affected people if their conviction was in Wyoming.