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Lummis Supports Gordon Joining Texas Election Lawsuit

in elections/News/Cynthia Lummis

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis voiced her support Thursday for the group of Wyoming legislators and legislators-elect asking Gov. Mark Gordon to have the state join a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas over the validity of votes cast in four states.

“We must protect free and fair elections,” Lummis said in a post on her Lummis for Wyoming Facebook page on Thursday. “I commend these legislators on their outreach to Governor Gordon and the Attorney General.”

The group of 31 legislators, including nine senators- and representatives-elect, is asking that Wyoming join the lawsuit filed against Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin that challenges the validity of millions of votes cast in those states.

The lawsuit alleges the four states made unconstitutional changes to their laws before the election that tainted the outcome of the presidential election between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Lummis said she completely agreed that Wyoming should join the lawsuit, adding that she has heard from constituents in Wyoming and around the country who are concerned about “the integrity of our electoral process.”

“It is incumbent on us to uncover the truth and protect the vote upon which our system of government rests,” she wrote.

A letter sent to Gordon on Wednesday repeats allegations that the four states exploited the coronavirus to “justify ignoring federal and state election laws and unlawfully enacting last-minute changes, thus skewing the 2020 General Election.”

The letter’s signers include Sen. Dan Dockstader, R-Afton, who was recently chosen as the president of the state Senate, and Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, who was recently selected Senate Majority Floor Leader.

Also urging Gordon to join the lawsuit is Wyoming’s Republican Party, which issued a statement on the issue on Tuesday urging action against what it called “rogue states” that unlawfully changed election laws.

Wyoming’s congressional delegation has yet to offer an opinion about the lawsuit.

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Lummis: Trump Shouldn’t Concede Election Yet

in elections/News/Cynthia Lummis

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

U.S. Senator-Elect Cynthia Lummis has become the second of Wyoming’s top elected officials to speak out regarding last week’s presidential election, saying President Donald Trump shouldn’t concede the election yet.

During an appearance on “GMA3: What You Need to Know” on Friday, Lummis told host Sara Haines that canvassing board results were still trickling in, giving the president hope that he could still win the election against former vice president Joe Biden.

“This is a very important exercise in our nation,” she said. “We have to be confident in the integrity, the security and the validation of our voting system.”

The newly-elected senator applauded Trump for raising issues about voter fraud and the integrity of the system, saying those calls should be fully vetted. This, she said, would allow for the voting system to improve for further elections.

Lummis retweeted the 60-second clip on Friday, reiterating her comments.

“Ensuring election integrity is core to our democratic republic. Let’s get it right and protect the vote,” she wrote.

Gov. Mark Gordon spoke out about the election this week as well, saying he wouldn’t congratulate Biden or Trump until the Electoral College officially announced the winner.

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Gordon Won’t Congratulate Biden, Trump Until Winner Officially Announced

in elections/News/Mark Gordon/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gov. Mark Gordon has become the first of Wyoming’s top elected officials to speak out regarding last week’s presidential election, but he didn’t offer any congratulations.

Instead, Gordon stated he wouldn’t congratulate either former Vice President Joe Biden or President Donald Trump until the Electoral College officially declared one of them the winner.

“Americans always want to be confident that their vote was counted and that the voting process was correct, accurate and conducted with care,” Gordon said in a tweet on Wednesday evening. “Our country should ensure every legal vote is counted properly. When a result is confirmed congratulations for the winner will be in order.”

Gordon congratulated both U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney and U.S. Senator-Elect Cynthia Lummis on their respective wins about 45 minutes after the polls closed on Nov. 3.

Neither Cheney nor Lummis have spoken about the election publicly. Nor have outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi or U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, who was recently re-elected as Senate Republican Conference chairman.

The Associated Press and other media outlets have called the election for Biden, but results won’t be official until either mid-December or early January. The AP has called every election since 1848, when President Zachary Taylor was elected.

However, it is the Electoral College that officially decides who will be president. Each state chooses electors, a number based on the size of each state’s population and how many representatives and senators it has in Congress (Wyoming has three total).

Those electors, who are sworn to vote for the candidate who received the most votes in the state, won’t vote until Dec. 14. The Senate president and an archivist will receive certificates recording the electoral vote, which must be in by Dec. 23.

The results of each state’s electoral votes are then sent to Congress, which will meet in a joint session on Jan. 6 to announce the results.

While media outlets have called the election for Biden, it is possible for outlets to be wrong, as seen in the 2000 election, when many news outlets declared former Vice President Al Gore the winner in his presidential race against George W. Bush.

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Who Won Cowboy State Daily’s Election Winner Picker Contest? Well, We Don’t Know Yet

in elections/News

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher, Cowboy State Daily

Three savvy Cheyenne men so far are tied to win Cowboy State Daily’s election winner picker contest.

Before we can pick the final winner, we need to know who won the presidential race. Now that gets interesting.

Here are the three winners who scored 5-0 on the contest, not counting the presidential race:

Michael Pearlman, press secretary for Gov. Mark Gordon.

Jimmy Orr, executive editor of the Cowboy State Daily.

John Masters, a well-known Cheyenne attorney.

Two of these picked Donald Trump and one picked Joe Biden.

Orr easily won the tie-breaker with a guess of 278,000 statewide voters. The real number was about 276,000.

But both Orr and Masters picked Trump to win. Pearlman picked Biden.

If Biden is declared the winner of the national Presidential race, then Pearlman gets bragging rights and a Bill Sniffin coffee table book. If Trump wins, then Orr gets to brag and gets a book.

Stay tuned as we all wait to see how this turns out.

Lots of smart people entered the contest and it took a while to sort out the winners.

Thanks for participating.

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Enzi Welcomes Lummis To Senate, Congratulates Cheney On Win

in elections/News/politics

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Outgoing U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi recently congratulated Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis on her successful campaign to take over his seat.

Lummis’ election and win are considered historic, as she will be the first woman to represent Wyoming in U.S. Senate. She beat out Democratic challenger Merav Ben-David, a University of Wyoming professor.

“Congratulations to Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis on being elected to fill the seat I have had the honor to hold for 24 years,’ Enzi said in a statement. “I know she will put Wyoming first and be a force to be reckoned with in Washington.

Enzi also congratulated U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney on her reelection to the House of Representatives. He felt that by having Lummis, Cheney and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso representing Wyoming in Congress, their work would be important and impactful.

The soon-to-be-retired senator also touched on the other elections that took place Tuesday, including the still to be determined presidential one. Enzi felt that although it was important to focus on “the top of the ballot,” the local elections were the ones that truly mattered.

“It’s important to remember that governing happens at the local level. Our county commissioners, city council, school board members – those are the people who shape our communities, and I applaud everyone who had the courage to put their name on a ballot this year,” he said.

He added that the best way to move forward after a particularly tense election season was to find common ground between the parties and work to solve those problems together.

“I only have a few weeks left as a U.S. Senator, but I remain a proud American citizen and I look forward to helping serve my country in other ways as I enter this new chapter of my life,” he said.

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Wyoming Voter Turnout Nearly Doubled Primary Election; More Than 275K Vote

in elections/News

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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:

U.S. Senate

Cynthia Lummis (R): 197,961

Merav Ben-David (D): 72,720

U.S. House

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

Against: 120,743

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.

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Bouchard Clobbers Opponent, Sails To Easy State Senate Win

in elections/News

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

State Sen. Anthony Bouchard, R-Cheyenne easily turned back what was anticipated to be a strong challenge from Democrat Brittany Wallesch, on Tuesday to win election to his second Senate term.

According to unofficial returns, Bouchard won 6,707 votes in Tuesday’s election to Wallesch’s 3,702.

Bouchard is the founder of the Wyoming Gun Owners organization which campaigned aggressively for him.  He won a difficult Republican primary race in August and it was anticipated the race for the general election would be close as well.

Bouchard, whose district straddles Laramie and Goshen counties, won a majority of votes cast in the race from both counties.

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One-Fifth Of Wyoming’s Registered Already Cast Ballots

in elections/News

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

More than one-fifth of Wyoming’s registered voters have already cast their ballots for the upcoming general election.

According to Monique Meese, spokesperson for the Wyoming Secretary of State’s office, 55,755 votes have already been cast for November’s general election, including votes from those who have returned their absentee ballots or who cast their votes in person at an early polling place.

As of Wednesday morning, there were 252,422 registered voters in the state.

Nearly 40% of Wyoming’s registered voters have requested absentee ballots, totaling 95,528 requested as of Monday.

Absentee voting officially began in the state on Sept. 18 and will continue until Nov. 2. Absentee ballots can be requested through a resident’s local county clerk office.

However, it should be noted that there is a difference between absentee and early voting. Absentee voting allows a person to vote by mail, while early voting means showing up to a polling location (usually a county clerk’s office or other designated venue) and using a voting machine, just like on Election Day, only without the long lines.

Early voting is available throughout the state and usually means a shorter wait time, which this writer proved on Wednesday by only taking 10 minutes to vote, from getting in line to walking out of the Laramie County Governmental Complex.

To vote early, I went to the complex, which had a sign pointing to the voting location in the building. I got in line behind about five or so other people (there were probably about 10 voting machines in the area), but the line moved quickly.

I checked in with a poll worker, told them my name and address and got my ballot. The only thing that held me up was changing my address, so I likely could have shaved my wait and vote time down to five minutes if that wasn’t needed.

From there, I picked up my voting stick (Laramie County is asking people to use small sticks to touch the screen, so as to avoid any potential coronavirus spread) and headed to the machine. Voting was pretty effortless, and I even got a wonderful Louisa Swain sticker for being a Wyoming woman voting.

If you can take advantage of early voting, I would recommend it. Why stand in line and be held up on Election Day when you can avoid the hassle?

Every county clerk’s office will act as an early voting location across Wyoming, but it is up to the office to determine if more early voting stations will be established in their counties.

Here is a list of each of the county clerk offices in Wyoming and their addresses:

  • Albany County: 502 Grand Ave., Suit 202, Laramie
  • Big Horn County: County Courthouse, 420 C St., Basin
  • Campbell County: 500 S. Gillette Ave., Gillette
  • Carbon County: 415 W. Pine St., Rawlins
  • Converse County: 107 N. Fifth St., Suite 114, Douglas
  • Crook County: 309 Cleveland St., Sundance
  • Fremont County: 450 N. Second St., Lander
  • Goshen County: 2125 E. A St., Torrington
  • Hot Springs County: 415 Arapahoe St., Thermopolis
  • Johnson County: 76 N. Main St., Buffalo
  • Laramie County: 309 W. 20th St., Cheyenne
  • Lincoln County: 925 Sage Ave., Suite 101, Kemmerer
  • Natrona County: 200 N. Center St., Casper
  • Niobrara County: 424 S. Elm St., Lusk
  • Park County: 1002 Sheridan St., Cody
  • Platte County: 800 Ninth St., Wheatland
  • Sheridan County: 224 S. Main St., Suite B-2, Sheridan
  • Sublette County: 21 S. Tyler Ave., Pinedale
  • Sweetwater County: 80 W. Flaming Gorge Way, Suite 150, Green River
  • Teton County: 200 S. Willow St., Jackson
  • Uinta County: 225 Ninth St., Evanston
  • Washakie County: 1001 Big Horn Ave., Worland
  • Weston County: 1 West Main St., Newcastle

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Wyoming Mail Carrier Faces Jail After Allegedly Throwing Away Voter Guides

in elections/News/Crime

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

A mail carrier in Fremont County faces up to two years in jail after being accused of throwing away mail, including voter guides, sent to residents of South Pass City and Atlantic City.

Zecharia Morgan is charged with knowingly destroying mail and “desertion of mails” after allegedly dumping voter guides prepared by the Wyoming League of Women Voters into a trash can in South Pass in September.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court, Morgan delivered mail to the communities for a contractor of the U.S. Postal Service.

An affidavit filed by Christopher Lucas, a U.S. Postal inspector, said a South Pass resident called the postmaster in Lander in mid-September to report she had seen a mail carrier “discarding mail in a trash can.”

On Oct. 1, another postal customer called the Lander postmaster to complain that she had not received a the League of Women Voters election guide sent to all postal customers in the communities by “Every Door Direct Mail.”

The first postal customer told the inspector “she also remembered seeing the Voter’s Guide in the trash can” and had seen other bulk mail pieces in the trash as well in the past, the affidavit said.

“The customer empties the trash can and has seen bundles of magazines and other (direct mail) in the trash can,” the affidavit said. “The customer stated she was aware of three or four times when bundles of mail were discovered in the trash can.”

Morgan told the Lander postmaster that he did not deliver the voter guides because “the boxes are always stuffed full.”

When interviewed by the inspector, Morgan admitted to throwing away the voter guides and to disposing of other direct mail as well between six and eight times since he had been employed in May, the affidavit said.

The affidavit said Morgan reported he did not throw away any first class mail sent to specific recipients except for some pornographic material.

“Morgan stated he had also thrown away pornographic material in the past, as he was not comfortable delivering it,” the affidavit said.

The charges of destruction of mail and “desertion of mails” both carry sentences of up to one year in jail and fines of up to $100,000.

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Gordon Celebrates Louisa Swain, First Woman To Vote In U.S.

in elections/News

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Gov. Mark Gordon celebrated women’s suffrage on Friday by honoring the first woman to ever cast a ballot in the United States, Louisa Swain.

Swain made history on Sept. 6, 1870 when she awoke early and voted in Laramie’s municipal election.

“There was too much good sense in our community for any jeers or sneers to be seen on such an occasion,” The Laramie Daily Sentinel reported after Swain voted.

On Sunday, there was a re-enactment and celebration of Swain’s groundbreaking vote at History House Plaza in Laramie, where U.S. Senate candidate Cynthia Lummis spoke.

Gordon took photos in front of a semi-trailer that’s been driven across the country in honor of Swain. It started in Washington, D.C. and ended its journey in Laramie on Saturday.

“It was wonderful to celebrate outside the Capitol with the 4 female drivers who piloted this truck from Washington, D.C., to Wyoming,” Gordon wrote in a tweet.

The Wyoming Territorial Legislature passed a law in December 1869 allowing women 21 and older to vote in every election. It marked the first time anywhere in the world that women were allowed to vote.

In 2008, the Wyoming Legislature passed a bill declaring Sept. 6 as Louisa Swain Day.

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