By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Wyoming’s voter registration numbers have dipped by more than 20,000 over the last two months, but a spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office said there’s no cause for alarm.
However, there hasn’t been a mass exodus of voters from the state. Instead, it is the result of a cleaning up of the state’s files.
“Wyoming is required by law to remove, or purge, voters after every general election,” Secretary of State’s office spokeswoman Monique Meese told Cowboy State Daily. “The voters being purged are those who did not vote in the last general election and did not respond to a statutorily required notice asking if they wanted to remain a registered voter.”
Wyoming’s 23 counties are required to notify the secretary of state’s office by Feb. 15 of the year following the November election of voters who did not cast ballots.
“While it is speculation on my part – I would suspect that is the reason for the decrease,” Meese said.
In February, there were 294,113 registered voters, down more than 8,000 than the month prior.
According to the secretary of state’s voter statistics, the breakdown of registered voters in Wyoming as of Monday looked like: 195,592 Republicans, 46,307 Democrats, 2,548 Libertarians, 696 Constitution Party, 34,682 unaffiliated and 39 “other,” which includes individuals registered in parties that are no longer recognized in Wyoming.
Laramie County saw the highest number of registered voters with 45,337 (with 9,610 Democrats, 28,608 Republicans, 72 Constitution Party, 358 Libertarian, 6,676 unaffiliated and 13 other).
Although there was an overall drop in voters across all parties, a few parties saw an increase in registered voters in certain counties. Albany, Converse, Crook and Hot Springs counties all saw slight upticks in their independent affiliation numbers compared to February.