Rod Miller: A Challenge To Sponsors Of The Moronic Crossover Voting Bill

in Column/Rod Miller

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***

By Rod Miller, Cowboy State Daily

It’s annoying, like a broken record with a big ol’ scratch in the groove and it keeps playing the same boring song over and over again, “The Crossover Voting Blues”.

For years we have watched the legislature try to impinge on the voting rights of Wyoming citizens by outlawing crossover voting, with each effort dying somewhere in the legislative process.

But each time it fails, this wrong-headed notion crops up again like a persistent case of herpes. 

The impetus behind these bills is to monkey around with Wyoming’s election code to prevent folks from one party registering in another party during primary elections in time to sway the outcome. In pure and simple terms, this amounts to the government of Wyoming putting its finger on the scales to tip the balance in favor of a one private political organization or the other.

In so doing, our legislature is attempting to limit the franchise of every Wyoming voter by telling us when and for whom we may cast our votes. All of this is meant to protect private political organizations from voters who disagree with them, voters whom today at least, can cast their votes for anyone they damn well please.

This inherent independence in the minds of voters in the Cowboy State can, and has, thrown big monkeywrenches into the plans of political parties, thus causing partisan noses to become seriously out of joint. Undies in party leadership have become uncomfortably bunched because they can’t get their way.

So, like whining toddlers hiding behind mom’s apron, they come to the Wyoming Legislature for relief and sobbing, “Mom, those mean kids from the other party are picking on us. Make it stop.”

Let’s be clear, political parties in the Cowboy State are private organizations. They have their own clubhouses, rules and secret handshakes. The parties are no different than fraternal organizations or service clubs in that regard. The only real difference is that the parties are organized to throw their political weight around.

For a private political organization in Wyoming to come to the legislature of the sovereign State of Wyoming to get help against another party is akin to an Elks lodge lobbying the legislature to outlaw the Moose lodge serving the Elks’ signature three-bean salad during karaoke night. 

Private organizations are precisely that – private, and the government of Wyoming has more important work to do than to referee cussin’ matches between them. The parties need to grow up and handle their own business like real cowgirls and cowboys, and not the drugstore variety.

This isn’t the first column I’ve written ridiculing this juvenile behavior by the parties. At the risk of repeating myself, I’ll repeat myself; state government has NO business involving itself in the internal working of political parties. Zero, nada, zilch! 

Instead of the legislature trying to finesse or fine-tune how parties conduct their primaries, the apron strings binding state government to private, partisan political organizations need to permanently severed, pronto.

Since I am at a loss to explain why the Wyoming Legislature keeps attempting to involve itself in party business, I’m gonna go right to the source and ask ‘em. 

I’m challenging the sponsor, co-sponsors and proponents of HB103 to answer one simple question -Why. Why should the State of Wyoming care one bit what goes on within the parties?

If a legislator or group of ‘em can answer that question succinctly and in 600-700 words, I’ll dedicate my column space next week to the answer. But I’ll ask them, if they choose to answer, don’t try to obfuscate the issue with a lot of party-speak or platform cheerleading, just answer the question

Try to use active verbs, good grammar and punctuation. Shoot for a deadline of noon on Sunday. Other than that, my column is yours to tell the people of Wyoming your motivation. 

My editor is cool with the idea, and I think a lot of folks are interested in your reply. C’mon, it’ll be fun! You’ll get your own byline above the column, and you can even choose a picture to replace mine for the week.

***For All Things Wyoming, Sign-Up For Our Daily Newsletter***


Latest from Column

Go to Top