By Molly Messick
LARAMIE, wyo – Elections for the county commissioners have been put off due to an ongoing voting rights lawsuit. This spring, a federal judge ruled that Fremont County's longtime system of electing its five commissioners from one county-wide district diluted the Native American vote. In August, Judge Alan Johnson again sided with the plaintiffs in the case, ruling that the county commissioners should be elected from five single-member districts. One of those districts includes much of the Wind River Indian Reservation, and a supermajority of native voters.
The Fremont County Commission plans to appeal Johnson's order about the number of districts. But in the meantime, for this election year, the county is using that districted system. Six candidates have filed to run in the district that includes much of the reservation. At least four candidates have filed to run in each of the two other districts holding elections this cycle. The general election is slated for January 18.