ESPC educates, mobilizes voters in 9 communities
The ESPC is a partner in the VOTE Project, a regional effort under the auspices of Western States Center, to educate and mobilize voters and potential voters. VOTE stands for Voter Organizing, Training and Empowerment Project.
Equality State Policy Center field organizer Cristina Colling is working to organize and reach voters in targeted precincts in north Casper, south Cheyenne, southside Rawlins, Rock Springs, south Torrington, and the Wind River Reservation (all places where the ESPC has conducted voter engagement work in the past). Colling has been able to do some outreach work in Jackson, as well. The project includes issue identification in these communities.
In 2012, Colling is working with ESPC leadership councils and other allies to educate and mobilize voters in all these communities. Canvassing was conducted for the Primary Election in August. Volunteers went door-to-door to tell neighbors where they can vote and to inform them that they can register at the polls on Election Day.
Canvassing for the General Election begins Oct. 13 on the Wind River Reservation. Volunteers will canvass throughout the month there and in the other communities through the rest of October and the weekend prior to the General Election Nov. 6. We need volunteers. Here is the canvassing schedule:
- CASPER: Oct. 27; Nov. 3 – Contact: Jeralee Salmon – 307-472-5939
- CHEYENNE: Oct 17; Oct. 26; Nov. 3, Nov. 4 – Contact: Cristina Colling – 307-996-6230
- RAWLINS: Oct. 27; Nov. 3 – Contact: Vern Whitfield – 307-320-7429 or Cristina Colling – 307-996-6230
- ROCK SPRINGS: Oct. 20; Oct. 27; Nov. 5 – Contact: Adrian Maldonado – 307-922-4320
- TORRINGTON: Oct. 24; Oct. 31; Nov. 3; Nov. 4 – Contact: Pamela Delgado – 307-340-1366
- WIND RIVER: Oct. 13; Oct. 14; Nov. 4 –Contact: Micah Lott – 307-240-1086 or Jolene Catron – 307-349-7429
Voting Day Registration
Wyoming law provides for voter registration in advance at county clerks’ offices (by Oct. 23 this year) or at the polls on election day. This voting-day registration means that all qualified citizens can easily exercise their right to vote. Anyone who is not registered to vote must bring identification. Photo identification is not required but can be used. If you don’t have a driver’s license, bring a statement to that effect and the last 4 digits of your Social Security number. If you have neither a driver’s license nor a Social Security number, bring a statement to that effect. If a driver’s license is not available or out of date, voters also need to bring proof of residence such as a utility bill.
Acceptable identification outlined in Wyoming’s Election Rules Chapter 2 includes:
- Wyoming driver’s license; OR
- One of the following: U.S. passport; school ID; military ID; driver’s license issued by another state; ID issued by a local, state or federal agency (This includes a tribal ID.); OR
- Two of the following: U.S. citizenship certificate; certificate of naturalization; draft record; voter registration card from other state or county; original or certified copy of birth certificate; certificate of birth issued by Department of State; any other form of identification issued by an official agency, such as a library card.
Voting Rights in Fremont County
In 2010, voter education efforts in Fremont County were particularly important in light of a federal court victory registered by five reservation residents in a Voting Rights Act case. The court declared that the county’s historic system of electing county commissioners “at-large” discriminated against American Indians by diluting their votes. The court ruled the county system violates the federal Voting Rights Act. The judge ordered creation of commissioner districts in Fremont County with one district that has a majority of Indian voters. The county struggled but ultimately devised a system that met court approval, though not in time for the 2010 elections. The county held a special primary election for county commission in November 2010, then a special general election in January 2011.
Reservation activists that worked with the ESPC canvassed areas in Fort Washakie, Ethete, Arapahoe and Beaver Creek to alert residents to the special elections and tell them where they could vote and how to register.
Why we do this work
Voter education and mobilization is part of the Equality State Policy Center’s commitment to diversify Wyoming politics by bringing in new voices. In addition to low-income and minority communities, we also will work with advocates for children, especially those groups supporting children in low-income families.