Early voting in Wyoming begins Thursday. Since 1991, the state has allowed absentee voting without an excuse.
People may register and in many instances they may vote in person at the County Courthouse or they can take their ballot home and return it. State Elections Director Peggy Nighswonger says it’s very popular.
“People that are thinking they may be out of town, shift workers who it’s hard for them to get to the polls, the elderly, it’s just a convenience for a lot of people.”
In a new report from the Verified Voting Foundation, Wyoming earned a “good” status for the security of its voting process. The state scored well because it uses paper ballots, which provide hard-copy proof, and tally votes electronically. It also ranked high on accounting for ballots cast, and for its reception of ballots from voters overseas. But Wyoming scored poorly in the area of post-election audits, because the state doesn’t check the electronic count of ballots against hard copy samples.
The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a decision by a Wyoming court, ordering Fremont County elections officials to implement a single-member elections system.
The decision is an attempt to remedy discrimination against American Indian voters.
In the past, Fremont county used an at-large system, wherevoters chose candidates for the entire county, rather than for smaller districts. That meant minority candidates didn’t have much of a chance. In contrast, a single-member system allows voters to choose candidates from their specific area.