This is the final part of a four-part series that examines how Wyoming’s Legislature came to focus on hot-button national issues instead of working to solve the very real problems facing our state, and what Wyoming residents need to do about it.
In our DERAILED series, we’ve described how the Wyoming Legislature has begun ignoring the real problems facing our state and now obsesses over hot-button national issues that dominate cable news and social media.
We have shown how the vast majority of the 2022 Wyoming elections will be decided in the primaries, but how few people historically vote in these critical contests.
And we have described how special interest groups with narrow aims have recently taken advantage of Wyoming’s low turnout in the primaries in order to reshape our Legislature.
Now, we offer a simple solution that can help get Wyoming back on track: Vote in the primary elections on or before Aug. 16, and tell everyone you know to do the same.
Here are some resources to help you be an informed voter in 2022, including how to:
- find your local voting districts
- learn about your candidates
- register (or change party affiliation)
- and cast your ballot.
Find your candidates—but first, your districts
The most important thing you need to know is who’s running for office.
But first, you need to know your voting districts—because your local candidates will depend on where you live.
The Wyoming Legislature redrew all the state’s voting districts this year during the once-in-a-decade process of “redistricting.” So even if you’ve had the same districts for years, they may now have changed.
The Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office has a somewhat clunky but useable system that allows you to find out which Wyoming House and Wyoming Senate districts are yours:
Just enter your address in the box and the map will do its magic.
Once you know your districts, you’re ready to learn about your candidates.
Get to know your candidates
Unfortunately, there is not a single place you can go to learn everything about every candidate. But we’ve put together a collection of resources to help.
The League of Women Voters has several active chapters in the state that host candidate forums.
If you live in Albany, Campbell, Laramie, Natrona, or Teton Counties—and you have the time to watch or at least scroll through some lengthy videos—these are great. You get information straight from the candidates’ mouths.
There are also forums for candidates running for statewide office, such as Governor and Secretary of State.
Here is a selection of LWV forum videos featuring legislative and statewide candidates, and you can find a more complete list in this document, including county- and city-level candidates.
Albany County – Wyo. Legislature
Campbell County – Wyo. Legislature
Laramie County – Wyo. Legislature
Secretary of State (Aug. 8)
Ask your candidates where they stand
One of the best and most efficient ways to find out where candidates stand on issues you care about is to simply ask.
Our friends at Healthy Wyoming have created a page where you can find out who is running in your local legislative districts, as well as their contact information so you can email, call, or text them.
Contacting candidates not only allows you to find out more about their views, but it also alerts people who will be in power which issues the folks in their district care about.
Again, there is no single guide to let you find out everything about every candidate. But here are a few that provide some good—but spotty–information.
This League of Women Voters site allows you to enter your address and learn about your local candidates. They do not have info on all candidates, but they have quite a few. Click on “Find what’s on your ballot.”
Sadly, because of Wyoming’s outdated voter laws, you cannot use this website’s other two functions: registering to vote and verifying your voter registration.
This new Wyoming-based resource includes information on candidates who filled out their questionnaire and includes other helpful resources.
Several Wyoming news outlets have dedicated sections covering the 2022 elections.
The Cowboy State Daily’s election coverage is a bit more hit and miss—as of this writing, the top story in its “Politics” section is covering the beef between Harriet Hageman and Kevin Costner. But they do dedicate substantial attention to important races like that for the Secretary of State.
The Casper Star-Tribune’s “307 Politics” section also features significant information about statewide elections.
HOW TO VOTE: NUTS AND BOLTS
Now that you’ve done your candidate research, it’s time to cast that ballot.
Registering and changing your party
Wyoming has a wonderful law that allows you to register to vote—or to change your party affiliation—at the same time you cast an in-person ballot.
The last day to register in any other manner has already passed for the primaries (that deadline was Aug. 1), so if you need to register or change your party, you’ll need to do it in person when you vote.
Thankfully, this is very easy. Just remember to bring your ID—which, as of this year, you’ll need to bring to vote anyway—and let the people at the County Clerk’s office or your polling place know what you need.
Unaffiliated, or “independent,” voters will need to register for one major party or another to vote in the primaries, or else they will only have nonpartisan city council candidates on their ballot and nothing else.
Where to vote: County Clerk’s office, polling place, or vote center
You can vote early in person at your local county clerk’s office (often referred to as “the courthouse” in many Wyoming communities) up until and on Aug. 15. Here is a directory.
On Election Day, Aug. 16, you’ll need to vote at your assigned polling place, which may have changed as a result of “redistricting.” You can look up your local polling place on the Secretary of State’s website.
If you live in lovely Laramie County, you can cast your ballot at the vote center of your choosing.
Voter ID law
In 2021, the Wyoming Legislature passed a law requiring voters to present an ID when they vote.
Your driver’s license works just fine, as will any government-issued ID (see a full list here).
If you don’t have an ID, you can go to your local DMV and they will issue you one for free.