By Rod Miller, columnist
Lucius Cassius first used the term “Cui Bono Fuerit”, which translates “Who Benefits From It”, to help Romans understand the political machinations in Rome. Its a simple way to analyze a complex problem – just ask who benefits.
We should ask that question today with regard to several recent attempts to modify Wyoming’s election code.
When the legislature is asked to amend our Constitution, and to add an expensive new layer of bureaucracy to our primary election system — like a “run-off” election, who benefits?
When the Wyoming Secretary of State and county election officials are being pressed to conduct “audits” of election results, even though the past two decades have seen less than a literal handful of fraudulent votes among the millions cast, then who benefits?
When the legal practice of cross-over voting is cast as election fraud instead of a simple means for any Wyoming voter to cast their vote for whomever the hell they please, and attempt after feckless attempt is made to outlaw the practice, who benefits?
There’s a noisy crowd of folks out there who insist that, unless all these changes to our election code are instantly enacted, then we are headed to Hell in a handbasket. Really?? I’d rather think that the crowd who is beating their chest for reforming our election code have come up with several solutions for a nonexistent problem.
It isn’t difficult to discern those folks’ motivation for wanting to change how we elect our representatives. In both the last presidential election, and the last gubernatorial election, their guy lost. So, it must be a flaw in the system instead of inept candidates or campaigns, to their way of thinking.
Cui Bono Fuerit? Those disappointed folks, of course.
Consider this. If all of those changes to our election code were in place tomorrow, it wouldn’t make it rain on Burns, it wouldn’t fix a single pothole, it won’t add an ounce to the weight of your fall calves and it wouldn’t score a single touchdown for the Pokes.
But what it WOULD do is to make it easier for that narrow group of disappointed folks (I won’t tell you who they are, because you’ve probably already guessed) is to hand-pick candidates who may not enjoy wide popularity and credibility with the Wyoming voter, and rush them into office on greased skids.
And it would diminish the political power of every citizen in Wyoming, in direct contravention of Article I, Section 3 in the Wyoming Constitution.
So, when you see these boneheaded moves to change our election code think of them as solutions in search of a problem. And ask yourself, “Who benefits from this nonsense?”
It’s pretty clear who would get screwed if these changes take place. We would, the average Wyoming voter.