Members of House Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions will take up HB 75 “Voter fraud” prevention on Wednesday February 24th at 1:30pm—and they need to hear from you! How can you get involved?
- Comment on the Legislature’s website or sign up to testify.
- Use the information below to tell lawmakers you oppose this bill.
- Wyoming should be making voting more accessible—not more restrictive.
Is voter fraud a problem in Wyoming? No. In fact, a recent article describes it this way: Voter fraud is rarer than UFO sightings. So why are politicians trying to tighten access to the polls? So, this bill is a solution in need of a problem. According to the Heritage Foundation’s voter fraud database, there have been three instances of voter fraud in Wyoming in the last two decades. (The most recent was in 2012, when a convicted felon moved from Alaska to Wyoming, registered to vote, and cast ballots in two elections. He was sentenced to 2-4 years imprisonment.)
But isn’t election security important? Yes! And great news: Wyoming’s elections are already highly secure, thanks to strong statutes, criminal penalties, and our 23 hardworking county clerks around the state. In fact, just last month Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan (R) told the Legislature: “Wyoming’s election was nearly flawless,” noting that when it comes to election security, “Wyoming is the benchmark other states aspire to.”
What about voter access and voter turnout? We know that many of our elections are decided by just a few votes. So civic engagement really matters! Voter access is just as important as security. One election official described the need for a FASTER system. FASTER stands for Fair, Accurate, Secure, Transparent, Equitable, and Reliable. Election officials and good legislation can strike the FASTER balance without sacrificing access for security or transparency for equitability. This legislation doesn’t strike that balance. (For more good info on the role of election officials Wyoming County Clerks, check out our most recent People’s Review: Live! about Election Integrity in Wyoming.)
If voters don’t have acceptable ID at the polls, they’ll be able to cast a provisional ballot. So what’s the problem? One of the things that pro-voter states all have in common is ensuring that casting a ballot is both secure and accessible. Colorado, for example, has among the most secure elections in the nation–and, frequently, the highest voter turnout. They’ve been able to increase voter turnout by nearly 10% by expanding access to cast ballots. Allowing for provisional ballots if a voter doesn’t have acceptable ID at the polls is not enough; simply requiring the ID in the first place acts as a deterrent to many would-be voters. Thousands of people already don’t vote and we want to engage those people with democracy—not deter them.
How can I weigh in? Click here to submit a brief written comment through the Legislature’s website. Let lawmakers know who you are and why you oppose the bill. Or sign up to testify (virtually) on Wednesday.
Want more information?
- Check out our blog post and our most recent People’s Review: LIVE! on election integrity in Wyoming.
- Read this piece by Chris Merrill in the Casper Star-Tribune.
- The Brennan Center for Justice has a Voting Rights Roundup 2021.
- The Vote at Home Institute has a robust research section on their website.
- Watch this SHAPE WY training session on how to testify virtually.