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election 2020

Wyoming Republican Party Urges Delegation to Contest Electoral Vote

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

The Wyoming Republican Party and many of the state’s Republican legislators have sent a letter to the the state’s congressional delegates, urging them to object to certification of the Electoral College’s vote.

In a letter dated Saturday, Wyoming Republican Party Chairman W. Frank Eathorne asked U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, then Sen.-elect Cynthia Lummis and U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney to contest the certification of the presidential election that pitted Presidential Donald Trump against former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Extensive evidence has surfaced that has led Wyoming Republicans to doubt the integrity of our presidential election in numerous states,” Eathorne wrote, referring to the multi-state lawsuit Gov. Mark Gordon refused to join that also questioned the validity of votes cast in the election.

Lummis and a number of other Republican senators have announced they plan to object to certification this week, until an audit can be completed of votes cast in states where questions about elections have surfaced.

Cheney, on the other hand, has questioned the wisdom of insisting on an audit of the votes, saying that would put the outcome of elections in the hands of Congress. Barrasso has been mum on the vote mostly, although he did recently admit to Fox News anchor Chris Wallace that Biden had been elected president.

“This is not about winning or losing. This is about being on the right side of history,” Eathorne wrote.

Seven currently-serving Wyoming senators (including Sens. Anthony Bouchard, Tom James and Bo Biteman) co-signed the letter, along with nine representatives (including outgoing Rep. Scott Clem and Rep. Clarence Styvar) and a number of incoming legislators, including Representatives-elect Ocean Andrew and Chip Neiman.

In a follow-up letter from Sunday, Reps. James Blackburn and Chuck Gray, as well as Senator-elect Tim French also signed on to join the letter.

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

in elections/News/politics

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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.

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Wyoming Legislators Defend Decision To Back Texas Lawsuit

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

A number of the legislators who urged Wyoming to join a Texas lawsuit contesting the validity of votes cast in the presidential election have taken to social media to defend their decisions.

At least four legislators have made some sort of statement either explaining or defending their request for the state to support the lawsuit, which challenges whether or not former Vice President Joe Biden was the real winner of the presidential election.

More than 30 Wyoming representatives and senators asked Gov. Mark Gordon to have the state join a 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.

Sen. Affie Ellis of Cheyenne said her call for Wyoming to join the challenge was based on concern that election laws were not followed in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Michigan.

“State legislators are constitutionally tasked with writing election laws to ensure integrity and public confidence,” she said. “Texas has filed a lawsuit to that effect and 17 other states have filed an amicus brief sharing Texas’ concerns. Our country depends on the integrity of fair elections. If the challenged states conducted their elections properly, they should have nothing to worry about.”

Rep. Landon Brown said his support for the Texas lawsuit does not reflect an unwillingness to accept an outcome of the presidential election. Rather, that the current president has the right to use the legal system to “see if it works.”

“This year we hear of potential issues with states violating their own constitution with isolated incidents,” he said. “Let me be clear, I do not believe that the amount of incidents would ultimately change the outcome of our elections, but the amicus brief states that we wish to have this hashed out and we have a vested interest in the outcome.”

Brown acknowledged Biden won the election more than once in his post, but still felt the lawsuit had validity and that Wyoming should still support it.

Rep. Scott Clem acknowledged he signed the letter in a post on Thursday, and also thanked U.S. Senator-elect Cynthia Lummis for her support of the legislators.

“Election integrity must be upheld,” he said.

Representative-elect Chip Neiman posted a statement to his Facebook page, urging Gordon to join the lawsuit.

“We must support Texas in their suit,” he said. “We should have a long time ago.”

Wyoming won’t join the lawsuit, as Gordon said as much in a statement on Thursday evening.

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Wyoming Legislators, GOP Ask Gordon To Join Texas Election Lawsuit

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By Jim Angell, Cowboy State Daily

A group of Wyoming legislators and legislators-elect is 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.

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.

Eighteen other states have joined Texas in the lawsuit, which was filed directly with the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week and asks for an emergency order to block the certification of the electoral college vote and determine whether the four states allowed large numbers of “illegal” votes to be cast in the presidential election.

The letter to Gordon 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.”

Wyoming should join the lawsuit to help guarantee the integrity of the election process, the letter said.

“We, the undersigned … do hereby request Governor Mark Gordon to instruct the Attorney General of Wyoming to join the State of Texas in this lawsuit immediately in order to protect the sanctity of our election process and to ensure that Wyoming citizens’ vote will not be debased by the actions of the Defendant States,” it said.

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.

“This is not a Donald Trump issue, this issue impacts all American states,” the statement said. “Texas shouldn’t be standing alone; too much is at stake. Governor Gordon values the Constitution. We stand with him and ask that he join forces with Governors and Attorneys General across the nation to defend the Constitution.”

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

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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

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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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Who is The Smartest Election Winner Picker in Wyoming?

in Column/politics/Bill Sniffin

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher Cowboy State Daily

When it comes to picking Wyoming election winners, I think I have a pretty good track record. But there are there are others who are uncanny with their abilities. Steve Peck of the Riverton Ranger comes to mind.

Thus, we are launching Cowboy State Daily’s 2020 election contest. Let’s see who really knows Wyoming and knows how to pick winners.

Besides bragging rights, I will send the winner one of my coffee table books.

The contest is simple. We have six races plus a tie breaker.

Election quiz for 2020: Please mark winners

National race
Donald Trump (R) _____
Joe Biden (D) ______

U.S. Senate (WY)
Cynthia Lummis (R) _____
Merav Ben-David (D) _____

U. S. House (WY)
Liz Cheney (R) _______
Lynnette Grey Bull (D)______

Cheyenne Senate District 6
Anthony Bouchard (R) ______
Britney Wallesch (D _______

Riverton House District 55
Ember Oakley (R) _______
Bethany Baldes (L) _______

Laramie House District 45
Roxie Hensley (R) ______
Karlee Provenza (D) _______

Tie breaker: How many votes will be unofficially cast for president in Wyoming in 2020: _________. (In 2016, the total was 248,945)

Note: If Trump-Biden goes to court, we will not count that presidential result as we want to know right away who wins this contest.

My name: __________________
My email address: ____________

Please fill this in and email it before noon on Tuesday, Nov 3, 2020.
Email: poll@cowboystatedaily.com

Feel free to add comments:

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One-Fifth Of Wyoming’s Registered Already Cast Ballots

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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 Sees Highest Primary Voter Turnout Ever For Election Year In 2020

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By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily

Wyoming had one of its highest-ever voter turnouts for a primary election this year, Secretary of State Ed Buchanan announced Thursday.

The primary election on Aug. 18 saw 140,042 ballots cast, 62% (86,441 votes) of which were cast at the polls on Election Day or by in-person absentee ballots. The rest of the votes were cast absentee by mail.

The number of votes cast in the primary is 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.

“The 2020 election was remarkable in many ways, but this election had the highest turnout for a primary in a presidential election year ever, and that is truly notable,” Buchanan said in a news release. “I have my staff and every county clerk across Wyoming to thank for a record-breaking turnout, and for the safety and security of our voting process.

“We made polling places safe and worked hard to inform voters about the security and safety of Wyoming’s voting process,” he continued. “Voters listened and proved that even when times are tough perhaps especially when times are tough – Wyoming votes.”

The State Canvassing Board is comprised of: Gov. Mark Gordon, Buchanan (chair), State Auditor Kristi Racines and State Treasurer Curt Meier.

The board met Wednesday to review the results of state-level races across Wyoming and certify winning candidates to be placed on the 2020 Nov. 3 general election ballot.

“The roll out of new election equipment across Wyoming and in every county was smooth and a great success for voters.  Wyoming voters were clearly not deterred by COVID-19 and turned out to cast their ballots using Wyoming’s election system which is safe and secure from end-to-end. Absentee voting begins for the general on September 18th, and we hope to see turnout just as strong as the primary,” said State Election Director Kai Schon in the news release.

Cowboy State Daily reported earlier this month figures from the secretary of state’s office showed that 139,950 ballots were cast during the primary, compared to 114,000 ballots cast during the primary election of 2016, another presidential election year.

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Wyoming Election Recap: Tuesday Was Big Day For Conservatives; GOP Shifts To The Right

in Column/politics/Bill Sniffin

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By Bill Sniffin, publisher

After the primary election Tuesday, it sure looks like the conservatives won the soul of Wyoming’s Republican Party.

During the primary campaign, it was obvious the Cowboy State seemed to be moving toward a three-party system, with Democrats, far-right conservative Republicans, and Republicans, who are labeled moderate or RINO (Republican in Name Only) by their opponents.

If you are keeping score, it sure appeared to be a wonderful night for the conservative Republicans.  The primary election battlefield was littered with the carcasses of stalwart candidates who had been labeled moderate.

In Wyoming, what the heck does moderate mean?  After Tuesday, it appears that if you show that you might consider raising any kind of tax, then you are a moderate.  Based on these results, it also appears that if you do not sign a pledge for Wyoming gun owners, you could face stiff opposition.

And based on these results, it would appear that the next session of the Legislature could be a truly cantankerous battle between pragmatic moderates who might consider anything to balance the budget versus staunch conservatives who prefer cutting government programs as their way to balance the state budget.  And based on Tuesday’s results, it would appear many of Wyoming’s voters support that position.

Let’s look at some of the results:

Wyoming’s State Senate became more conservative as a result of contested elections in Tuesday’s Wyoming primary election.

State senate races in Cheyenne, Gillette, Riverton, and Cody generated much of the excitement,      

In Campbell County, Incumbent Sen. Michael Von Flatern lost big to Troy McKeown, 1,507 to 626.  Von Flatern had literally been in the sights of the Wyoming Gun Owners, who campaigned vigorously against him. Von Flatern was viewed as a moderate.  A last-minute endorsement by retiring U. S. Sen. Mike Enzi could not save him.

In Laramie County, Sen. Anthony Bouchard held on to his seat, despite heavy opposition from Erin Johnson.  Bouchard’s margin of victory of 2,064 to 1,903 was typically close, as have been almost all of Bouchard’s races.   This result was a surprise to many observers as moderate Wyoming politicians like Sen. Ogden Driskill (R-Devils Tower) openly campaigned against Bouchard.

In Fremont County, State Rep. Tim Salazar moved up to win retiring State Sen. Eli Bebout’s seat with a 2,882 to 1,738 win over businessman Mike Bailey.  Bebout had been in the legislature for decades and was a former Speaker of the House and President of the Senate.

In Park County, Hank Coe was retiring after 31 years in the legislature.  County Commissioner Tim French defeated Rep. David Northrup, 2,174 to 1,442. Stefanie Bell got 1,205 votes. A lot of outside money went into this race.  French was considered by many to be the most conservative of the candidates.

In the House, the biggest upset occurred in District One in Crook and Weston Counties where Chip Neiman defeated Majority Whip Tyler Lindholm, 1,812 to 1,593. Neiman was considered the conservative in this race.  

In Park County, a mud-slinging campaign saw incumbent Sandy Newsome defeat Nina Webber, 1,237 to 868.  It was a hard-fought battle. Webber was considered the conservative with Newsome seen as a moderate.

In somewhat of an upset, Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr finished third in the primary and will not compete in the general election for a second term. Patrick Collins 8,451 and Rick Coppinger, 2,959, finished first and second.

In another upset of a kind, a one-half cent sales tax to support economic development won in Fremont County by a vote of 5,132 to 5,001. With the state economy in the toilet, observers thought this tax would never pass.  The funds would be used for job development, airport funding, and local shuttle buses.

The two biggest guns running were former U. S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis easily winning the primary for U, S. Senate to replace retiring Mike Enzi and Incumbent U. S. Rep. Liz Cheney, who easily won her primary election.

When the smoke cleared, it clearly was a good night for the most conservative of Wyoming’s Republicans.  Earlier this year they dominated the GOP state convention and pretty much controlled the state platform, too.

As for the moderates, it might be back to the drawing board for them. They took a pretty good licking Tuesday, Aug. 18.

Editor’s note: Anthony Bouchard’s votes were updated to include the numbers for Goshen County at 11:15 a.m. on Aug. 19.

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