Why do fair elections matter?
Fair elections are the most basic and direct way that we the people exercise our power over the government and, as a result, protect our rights as citizens and bring about policies that benefit the people.
In Wyoming (and in the rest of the United States) we live in a representative democracy where all citizens are constitutionally guaranteed the same civil rights.
This system ensures that the ultimate power rests with the people, not with the government.
The most basic way we demonstrate this power is through regular, democratic elections.
What are some of your essential rights as citizens and voters?
- Freedom of speech, association, and assembly—including the freedom to protest.
- Due process and equal protection under the law.
- Freedom to organize and mobilize groups of people for the purposes of civic action and engagement.
- Freedom to participate in political dialogues, debates, and conversations.
- Equal opportunities to participate in our government and our economy.
- The right to register to vote, if eligible, and the freedom to cast your vote in secret, for whomever you choose, without fear of intimidation or reprisals, and with the guarantee that your vote will be counted.
If we’re guaranteed fair elections by law, then what’s the problem? Why are fair elections central to ESPC’s mission?
- Voter suppression is a real phenomenon that negatively affects the functioning of our democracy.
- Without constant vigilance from citizens, our legally guaranteed freedoms and protections can be (1) misunderstood by poll workers and government officials; (2) willfully or ignorantly violated by government officials; (3) ignored due to prejudice and bias; and/or (4) slowly eroded over time.
- Our de-facto two-party political system is not perfect—the two mainstream parties can (and do) create onerous rules and unfair barriers to entry for new or different political parties or ideologies. These barriers can unfairly crowd out other voices and make it unreasonably difficult to get on the ballot or included on equal footing in debates and elections.
What does ESPC want to achieve in Wyoming’s elections?
- We want to bring about—and maintain—a system of elections that gives all eligible voters equal opportunities to register to vote, to change political party affiliation, to unaffiliate altogether, and do these things if and when they see fit.
- We want to ensure that poll workers and government officials are well trained and well versed in election law and in our constitutionally guaranteed rights—with an emphasis on upholding the freedoms and protections of all voters.
- We want to ensure that all votes are counted equally, and that announced election results are the same as the actual vote totals.
Why does ESPC need your help?
- This work is our collective privilege as community members and citizens.
- We’re successful only when people like you show up, participate, assert your rights, provide oversight, and apply unrelenting pressure and encouragement for government officials to do the right thing.
- Our government needs your input and oversight!
What are some things you can do?
- Sign up for our emails to stay informed about opportunities to engage and speak out.
- Take our SHAPE WYOMING grassroots advocacy training and learn how to engage effectively with elected officials.
- Take our RUN WYOMING candidate training and to learn what it takes to run a successful campaign in Wyoming.
- Talk to your legislators frequently about the issues that matter most to you! They need to hear from YOU in order to do their jobs well.
- Run for office! Most elected positions in Wyoming are won by only a tiny margin of votes.
- Donate to ESPC! Your support helps ESPC travel the state; research and analyze policy positions and proposals; create solutions; build and coordinate powerful coalitions be a year-round good government watchdog; and show up everywhere we need to be to advocate on your behalf. Most of us aren’t able—because of work, health issues, childcare, and so many other responsibilities—to travel the state and advocate year-round. That’s why ESPC exists: to be a constant presence and constant voice for transparent government, fair elections, thriving communities, and the people of Wyoming.