By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Voter turnout almost doubled between the primary and general elections in Wyoming this year, according to the secretary of state’s office.
As of Wednesday morning, the unofficial returns saw 278,314 votes cast, according to Monique Meese, spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office. There were 144,883 absentee ballots sent out, with 143,029 absentee ballots received by state county clerks.
The majority of the votes cast were for the Republican ticket. Quickly after the polls closed on Tuesday night, the race was called for certain GOP candidates, such as President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and U.S. Senator-Elect Cynthia Lummis.
The number of votes cast actually exceeded the number of voters registered as of Tuesday — 268,837 — a development that can occur because of the state’s laws allowing voter registration at the polls on election day.
The highest turnouts were seen in Laramie and Natrona counties, with 45,119 and 35,385 votes being cast in the respective locations.
This was almost double compared to the primary election in August, when 140,042 votes were cast. Even that was considered a historic number, though, as the number of votes cast in the primary was a record for the state in a presidential election year.
The only time the number has been exceeded was in the mid-term primary election of 1994.
Tuesday’s voter turnout was also up compared to the last presidential election in 2016, where 258,788 votes were cast. In 2012, 250,701 votes were cast in the general election.
Here are the unofficial results for top races in Wyoming’s general election as reported by the secretary of state’s office:
Cynthia Lummis (R): 197,961
Merav Ben-David (D): 72,720
Liz Cheney (R): 185,602
Lynnette Grey Bull (D): 66,539
Richard Brubaker (L): 10,113
Jeff Haggit (Const.): 7,930
Constitutional Amendment A
For: 126, 486
To win approval, a constitutional amendment must receive “yes” votes from a majority of all people casting a ballot in a general election. According to the secretary of state’s preliminary numbers, the measure needed 139,157 “yes” votes to win.