Despite at least two pending cases, reports and prosecutions of illegal voting in Wyoming are rare, state and local elections officials say. By state Elections Director Peggy Nighswonger’s recollection, you’d have to go back to 2000 to find the previous cases. That was when a former small-town mayor tried voting in both Wyoming and Utah and when some Colorado residents, who owned property in Wyoming, tried voting in a municipal election, Nighswonger said. Because the cases generally are handled at the local level, Nighswonger said there may be other instances she’s unaware of. A search of Circuit Court records dating back more than a decade turned up no prior prosecutions of voter fraud in Park County prior to the recent charges against David D. Koch of Cody. Koch, 38, is facing four felony counts for allegedly registering to vote and then voting in 2010 and 2012 despite two 1996 felony convictions in Alaska.
According to the Gillette News Record, the Campbell County Attorney’s Office is prosecuting a Gillette felon who allegedly voted in 2008, was warned not to vote again, but did in 2012.
Nighswonger said her office received three reports of illegal voting this year — one being Koch’s — and they were the first such reports made directly to the Secretary of State since at least 1996.
Koch’s case came to light after an anonymous man confronted him on a live radio call-in show Koch hosted in January. It’s unclear whether the caller is the same person who reported the alleged illegal voting to the Secretary of State’s office.
Of the three reports, Koch’s was the only one made by a private citizen, Nighswonger said, as government employees made the other two. The other reports remain under investigation, she said.
A statewide voter registration system that began in 2006 alerts elections officials to Wyoming felons who have registered to vote.
“It’s a little easier to find those people now than it used to be,” Nighswonger said.
However, the database does not include convictions from other states, “which is too bad,” she said. For that reason, Koch’s convictions in Alaska would not have raised any flags in the database.
Full Article: Voting fraud reports, cases rare in state.