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.
Articles about voting issues in Wyoming.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Wyoming: Attorney General will not consider Wyoming GOP complaint against liberal groups | Casper Star Tribune
The Wyoming Attorney General’s office has declined to consider the state Republican Party’s complaints against a progressive organization that sent voters mail praising Democratic legislative candidates and criticizing their GOP opponents, according to recent letters sent to people involved in the grievances. The Attorney General’s office will not investigate the complaints because they came from the Wyoming Republican Party, Senior Assistant Attorney General Michael Robinson wrote. State law specifies complaints must come from qualified electors. And a political party is not a qualified elector under state law, he wrote.
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.