Category archive

elections

Gray, Bouchard Celebrate Gordon Signing Voter ID Bill Into Law

in elections/News
9816

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

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Two legislators are celebrating Gov. Mark Gordon’s recent signing of a bill that will require Wyoming voters to present some type of identification when voting in person.

On Tuesday, Gordon signed House Bill 75 into law, which will require a person to present “acceptable” identification when going to vote in person.

“Today’s signing of my Voter ID legislation is a victory for the citizens of Wyoming,” bill sponsor Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, said on Tuesday. “It is a necessary function of our Republic to provide our citizens with confidence that our elections are secure, fair, and valid. I am proud that we were able to meet this important milestone for Wyoming.”

This bill was a priority for Gray since he has been elected to office in 2016 and has been a law that Wyoming legislators have been working on for nearly 20 years.

Wyoming currently requires identification to register to vote, but not when actually voting in person. The law would not apply for absentee voting.

The law will take effect beginning July 1.

Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne, also touted the bill being signed into law.

“Governor Gordon has just signed into law the photo ID bill I sponsored along with my conservative colleagues in the Senate,” Bouchard said. “So which #woke corporation will attack our state next?”

The bill was amended to allow elderly voters to use a Medicare card as a form of suitable identification, since many of them do not use a photo ID.

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan testified in support of the bill last week during a Senate committee meeting, telling the the legislators how much work his office had done to help write the bill.

“You really have every available type of identification to be used in this case, so no one has to feel like there’s an ID they can’t get,” he said. “One of the important things I emphasized early on this was in no way disenfranchising any voters.”

Buchanan did say there have only been three or four instances of voter fraud in the state over the last couple decades, “but it does occur.”

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

Voter ID Bill Headed to Wyoming Senate for Debates

in elections/News/Legislature
9678

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

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A bill requiring people to present some type of identification when voting in person is heading to the floor of the Senate for debate this week.

House Bill 75 would require a person to present “acceptable” identification when going to vote in person. The Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions approved the bill on a vote of 4-1 Tuesday, with only Sen. Cale Case, R-Lander, voting “no.”

Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, the bill’s sponsor, told Senate colleagues during his testimony that the bill would be critical for Wyoming’s elections.

“Voter ID is a step in keeping our election statues tight, and ensuring there’s an environment where it is difficult to commit fraud, it’s a best practices issue,” he said. “This bill will ensure confidence in our elections.”

Wyoming currently requires identification to register to vote, but not when actually voting in person. This bill would not apply for absentee voting.

Sen. Tara Nethercott, R-Cheyenne, cracked a joke during the meeting, asking Gray if he would consider amending the bill to include fishing licenses, a joke referencing to U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, who Gray plans to challenge in her bid for re-election.

Sen. Charles Scott, R-Casper, asked Gray what would happen in the event someone’s ID is stolen prior to voting, to which the representative responded an old ID or a temporary, paper one would suffice.

Scott expressed his concern about the bill, noting not everyone has multiple types of ID and adding a voter could be in a bad spot if the ID is lost before voting.

However, Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Towers, interjected, saying identity could still be verified through voting registration records, since an ID is required to register.

“When you live in the backwoods like I do, all the polling people know you,” Driskill said to Gray. “Is there a thought you could be allowed to cast your ballot because you know the polling people? I know mine, we have coffee together.”

Gray said there were some equal protection concerns regarding visual verification of a person’s identity, which is why that situation hadn’t been addressed in the bill.

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan testified in support of the bill, telling the committee how much work his office had done to help write the legislation.

“You really have every available type of identification to be used in this case, so no one has to feel like there’s an ID they can’t get,” he said. “One of the important things I emphasized early on this was in no way disenfranchising any voters.”

Buchanan did say there have only been three or four instances of voter fraud in the state over the last couple decades, “but it does occur.”

Driskill added no one voluntarily announces they cheated the system, they just do it again.

Nethercott mentioned that as a sitting senator, she was once rejected from a polling place in Laramie County because she did not have her ID.

Tom Lacock, spokesman for AARP, supported amending the bill to allow Medicare IDs to be used as acceptable identification for voting, as many elderly people have no need for photo IDs any longer.

Some of the organizations opposed to the bill included the League of the Women Voters and the Equality State Policy Center.

Marguerite Herman, representing the LWV, said Wyoming simply does not need such a requirement for its voters.

“The only accomplishment of HB75 is to create a hoop for the voters and poll workers to jump through on election day with no corresponding benefit,” she said. “Our voter registration system is solid. Our elections are secure. Wyoming should have no patience for such an expenditure of time, effort and other resources.”

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

Wyoming’s Voter Registration Numbers Dip By More Than 20K

in elections/News
9081

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

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.

As of Jan. 1, Wyoming has 302,963 registered voters, but as of Monday, the state only had 279,864, a drop of 23,099 voters.

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.

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

More Than 100 Wyoming National Guardsmen to Help With Biden Inauguration

in elections/News
8358

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

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

More than 100 Wyoming National Guard Soldiers and airmen have volunteered to support crowd control, communications and logistics during the 59th Presidential Inauguration for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

“We are proud to support, and be part of, the long tradition of supporting this historical event for our country,” said Maj. Gen. Greg Porter, adjutant general for Wyoming. “When we are requested, we continue to provide our governor and civilian authorities properly manned, trained and equipped forces available wherever and whenever they are needed.”

The 59th Presidential Inauguration, like all presidential inaugurations, is considered a national special security event. The preparation for a NSSE is a cooperative effort among federal, state and district agencies.

The National Guard provides a wide variety of capabilities that can seamlessly integrate with interagency partners to enhance inauguration support capabilities.

Several states are activating to provide timely, safe and proactive support to civilian authorities. While the costs associated with this deployment will be paid for with federal dollars, these National Guard professionals will remain under their respective governor’s control for up to 31 days and adhere to D.C. law.

Military support to inaugurations by Guard members dates back 232 years to when General George Washington began his inaugural journey from Mount Vernon, Vermont to New York City.

Local militias (the modern-day National Guard), joined his inaugural procession as it passed through towns along the route to be joined by members of the regular Army, additional local militia and Revolutionary War veterans once Washington arrived in New York City.

This presidential military escort then accompanied him to Federal Hall for the presidential oath. The National Guard and other military units have continued this tradition of inaugural support ever since.

Additional National Guard Soldiers and airmen will be made available to provide support to Wyoming authorities, should the need arise.

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

Wyoming Democratic Party Condemns Attack on U.S. Capitol, Criticizes Lummis

in elections/News/Cynthia Lummis/politics
8217

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

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Democratic Party on Wednesday condemned the attack on the U.S. Capitol building while also criticizing the state’s newest U.S. senator.

Wyoming Democratic Party Chair Joe Barbuto said in a statement that the attack, led by people described as supporters of President Donald Trump who don’t believe he lost November’s presidential election to former Vice President Joe Biden, was the culmination of the last four years of Trump’s presidency.

“These people are not protesters or patriots, they are domestic terrorists who were beckoned by the dog whistle of Trump,” Barbuto said. “The President of the United States is complicit in this violence, as are those who have enabled and defended his actions, conspiracy theories and words over the last four years.”

Barbuto included Wyoming’s congressional delegation as having enabled Trump, primarily newly sworn-in Sen. Cynthia Lummis, who has regularly praised Trump during his presidency, including supporting Trump‘s refusal to concede in the presidential election.

Lummis confirmed recently that she would contest the Electoral College vote confirming Biden as president-elect.

Barbuto criticized Lummis’ choice to contest the Electoral College vote, calling it “disturbing.”

“Her embrace of that rhetoric has only escalated the situation,” he said. “It is a disgrace to democracy, it is a disgrace to our nation and it is a disgrace to Wyoming. Sen. Lummis has no choice but to publicly withdraw her involvement in encouraging the rejection of election results and fulfill her sworn oath and constitutional duties in the peaceful transition of power.”

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

Barrasso Calls For End to Storming Of U.S. Capitol

in elections/News/politics
8219

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

By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso joined Wyoming colleague U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis on Wednesday in criticizing the crowds who invaded the U.S. Capitol as members of Congress prepared to certify the results of Electoral College votes from November’s election.

“This violence and destruction have no place in our republic,” Barrasso wrote in a Twitter post. “It must end now.”

Laura Menglekamp, Barrasso’s spokeswoman, said Barrasso and his staff were safe following the incident that forced the evacuation of the Capitol earlier in the day.

An undetermined number of protesters described as supporters of President Donald Trump breached the Capitol shortly after noon Wyoming time. The incident occurred shortly after Trump hosted a rally to encourage members of Congress to reject the Electoral College’s vote in favor of Democrat Joe Biden.

Barrasso and Lummis were on opposite sides of the Electoral College issue. Lummis joined 10 other Senate Republicans in announcing she would object to certification of the votes until an audit could be conducted of the elections in six states where Trump has alleged voter fraud occurred.

Barrasso, expressing opinions similar to those of U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, said he would vote to certify the results because their rejection would mean Congress was selecting the next president rather than the voters.

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

Trump Attacks Cheney, “Weak Congresspeople” During Wednesday Rally

in elections/News/Liz Cheney/politics
8211

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

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

President Donald Trump singled out U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney for scathing criticism during a rally appearance on Wednesday morning.

“The Liz Cheneys of the world. We have to get rid of them,” Trump said during his speech.

In recent days, Cheney has advised fellow Republican not to object to the outcome of the Electoral College vote that gave victory in November’s presidential election to Democrat Joe Biden.

The comments by Trump came during a rally that took place just hours before many of his supporters stormed the steps of the U.S. Capitol building, forcing evacuation of the building by the legislators inside. Members of Congress were preparing to decide on the certification of the Electoral College’s vote at the time.

During the rally, Trump also told his supporters to get rid of the “weak Congresspeople,” referring to those who didn’t agree with his belief that the presidential election was rigged or that Biden didn’t win fairly.

Trump also claimed that “big tech” rigged the election in Biden’s favor.

“We will never give up, we will never concede,” the president said during the rally. “It doesn’t happen. You don’t concede when there’s theft involved.”

These comments come days after Cheney confirmed that she would vote to certify Biden’s win and also calling Trump’s recent phone call with the Georgia Secretary of State “disturbing.”

“Congress has an important role to play in supporting states as they address election fraud,” she previously said. “Congress does not, however, have the authority to overturn state presidential election results by refusing to count electors and thereby substituting our views for the votes of the people in the states. Doing so would be establishing a tyranny of Congress and stealing power from the states and the people in those states.”

Cheney’s position on certification of the Electoral College vote was shared by U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, who said he would vote in favor of certification during the joint session of Congress held Wednesday.

U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis, however, joined 10 other Senate Republicans in saying she would object to to the Electoral College results until an audit of elections in states where Trump has suggested voter fraud occurred can be completed.

Lummis’ statements on the Electoral College vote won thanks from Trump during the rally.

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso confirmed Wednesday morning that he would also certify the Electoral College’s vote.

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

Cheney Explains Opposition to Electoral College Challenge: “This Vote Is Not About President Trump”

in elections/News/Liz Cheney
8177

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

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Giving Congress the authority to overturn elections at the state level would allow that body to dictate to the states, U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney said Monday.

U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, in a statement on her Facebook page, explained her decision to stand by the Electoral College’s vote confirming former Vice President Joe Biden as the president-elect.

“Congress has an important role to play in supporting states as they address election fraud,” she said. “Congress does not, however, have the authority to overturn state presidential election results by refusing to count electors and thereby substituting our views for the votes of the people in the states. Doing so would be establishing a tyranny of Congress and stealing power from the states and the people in those states.”

Cheney’s statement was posted less than a day after she denounced many of her Republican colleagues, including U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis for their plans to challenge the results of the Electoral College.

Eleven Senate Republicans, including Lummis, announced over the weekend they will object to certification of the Electoral College’s results until an emergency 10-day audit can be conducted of votes cast in states where some have raised questions about the legality of the elections. The Senate is to receive the Electoral College’s votes for certification on Wednesday.

Cheney said she understood many people had concerns about the election, particularly with mail-in voting.

“Since November 3, I’ve had the chance to talk with many of you about the very real concerns associated with mail-in voting and other challenges in the 2020 presidential election, and I share your concerns,” she wrote. “I think it is fundamental to the future of our electoral system that we address and reform these systems.”

She went on to praise Wyoming’s election system, which functions “fairly, efficiently and transparently,” which other states could learn from.

She added that the Republican Party prided itself for its fidelity to the U.S. Constitution.

“[Republicans] call ourselves strict constructionists, meaning that we adhere to the actual text of our founding document,” she wrote. “We do not read words or concepts into the Constitution that are not there. And we do not comply with the Constitution’s commands only when it is convenient politically.”

By objecting to the Electoral College results, this would assert Congress had the authority to overturn elections and overrule state and federal courts.

“Like all of you, I am thankful for the work President Trump and his administration has accomplished on behalf of Wyoming and our entire nation, and I am not happy about the result of the presidential election,” she said. “This vote in Congress is not about President Trump. It’s about following the Constitution and recognizing that the authority here rests with the states and the people, not the federal government.”

Cheney concluded that she couldn’t, in good faith, surrender Wyoming’s right to determine the winner of the presidential election to a future Democratic-run Congress.

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

Wyoming GOP Applauds Legislators Contesting Electoral College Votes: “This Is The Time To Fight”

in elections/News/politics
8121

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

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Republican Party is praising U.S. senators and representatives who are willing to contest the results of the Electoral College votes in the presidential election.

“We applaud those U.S. Senators and Representatives willing to stand against election fraud and object to certification of the ill-gotten swing States’ Electoral College votes on January 6th,” the organization wrote in a New Year’s post on their website.

The party, in its website, also linked to a story from The Epoch Times from Dec. 22 that discussed various Republican senators who stated their intention on Jan. 6 to contest the certification of the results of the election between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden.

A request for comment from Wyoming Republican Party Chairman Frank Eathorne went unreturned as of Wednesday afternoon.

U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, on stated his intention to contest the results on Tuesday. Sen. Mo Brooks, R-Alabama, has also confirmed he will contest the results.

“It is reasonable for the American people to expect that a majority of the U.S. Senate will refuse to certify the election, since Republicans control the Senate,” the Wyoming GOP wrote in its post. “This is no time to compromise with Democrats. Efforts to appease them will be for naught if Biden is sworn-in. If Biden does prevail, he should enter the White House with a well-earned stain of illegitimacy that a full Senate refusal to certify would ensure.”

The GOP also encouraged Wyoming residents to call on their congressional delegates, U.S. Sen.-elect Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney, to request they also contest the vote.

“As Republicans, our Congressional delegation are all members of the Wyoming Republican Party so they should see no conflict in riding for the Republican brand and standing up for our most precious Constitutional right – the right to vote in free and fair elections,” the GOP wrote.

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

Barrasso Accepts Biden As President-Elect

in elections/News
8012

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

By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso said Sunday during an appearance on Fox News with Chris Wallace that he believes former Vice President Joe Biden is the president-elect and will take over the seat from President Donald Trump in just one month.

“Let me ask you directly: will Joe Biden be the next president of the United States?” Wallace asked the senator.

“Yes, he will,” Barrasso said.

Barrasso had been hesitant to admit to Biden’s victory until the Electoral College certified the results last week. He told Wallace during his appearance on Sunday that he was one of the many Wyoming residents and 70 million people across the country who voted for Trump in the November election.

However, he wasn’t quite as vocal about the possibility of voter fraud, unlike U.S. Sen.-elect Cynthia Lummis, who supported the idea of Gov. Mark Gordon potentially joining a multi-state lawsuit contesting the validity of many presidential votes.

Wallace also questioned Barrasso on whether or not Senate Republicans would delay confirming many of Biden’s cabinet picks, similar to the same way (Barrasso believed) the Democrats did to Trump’s cabinet in 2017.

“It looks like the Biden cabinet would be a third term of the Obama administration, and that didn’t really sit well in Wyoming,” he said. “We’ll have hearings and ask the tough questions, but we are not going to forget what happened with Trump’s administration.”

The senator added that he was taking personal interest in Biden’s Secretary of Energy pick, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, as she isn’t a big proponent of using fossil fuels.

“The impact of that on our economy, on jobs, it cuts the throat of my state,” Barrasso said.

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

Go to Top