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Responsive Gov’s Grade TL;DR

After taking a break from passing anti-voter restrictions in 2022, the Legislature returned last year to pass several anti-voter laws. Fortunately, Governor Gordon stepped in and vetoed legislation that would have unduly restricted absentee voting. The state did, however, implement laws to shorten deadlines to send mail ballots to voters, shorten deadlines for voters to change party affiliation, and institute ID requirements for voters requesting mail ballots in person. Therefore, Wyoming received a C on this year’s progress report.

Looking Back

Where Wyoming Started at the Beginning of 2023

  • Automatic Voter Registration: No
  • Online Voter Registration: No
  • Same-Day Registration: Yes
  • Restoration of Rights: Some Permanent Disenfranchisement
  • Vote by Mail: No-Excuse
  • Electronic Registration Information Center Member: No
  • Early Voting Opportunities: In-Person Absentee
  • ID Requirements: No Document Required

Relying on the Cost of Voting Index for Wyoming as of 2022, we considered the state a bottom tier state for pre-existing voting policy and compared its 2023 activity against other bottom tier states. Last year, Wyoming was considered a middle tier state.

How Our Tier Compares

  • COVI (2022): 44th
  • EPI Score (2020): 45th
  • CLC State Scorecard (2022): 5/10
  • MAP Democracy Rating (2022): LOW

2023: This Past Year

Legislative Action

After making a small improvement to the county election administration process in 2022, last year the Legislature focused once again on passing legislation to make it harder for election workers to do their jobs and for voters to cast ballots.

  • S 153 shortens the timeframe for clerks to send mail ballots to voters down to 28 days before the election, instead of the current 45 days.
  • H 103 significantly moves up the deadline to change party affiliation before a party primary to 96 days before the election. The current deadline allows voters to change party preference up to 14 days before the primary.
  • H 279 requires voters applying for a mail ballot in person to show ID as if they were voting at the polls on Election Day.
  • H 5 expands the list of information stored in the official voter registration database to include a unique voter identifying number, info related to absentee ballot status, and date of registration.
  • H 79 adds concealed carry permits to the list of acceptable voter ID.

Executive Action

  • Governor Gordon vetoed S 131, which would have prevented anyone other than county clerks or the secretary of state from distributing unsolicited mail ballot applications in any form to voters. In his veto letter, the governor noted the legislation could “inappropriately suppress proper absentee voting.”