First election with new voter identification law goes well | Casper
On Tuesday, taped to the doors of the industrial building at the Casper Exhibition Center, there was a new message.
âTAKE IT TO THE POLLING OFFICES,â read the red, white and blue flyers, on clip art of a hand holding an ID card.
In Tuesday’s special election, Natrona County’s first after the Wyoming Voter Identification Act passed earlier this year, just about everyone prepared to present their card. ‘identity.
Several people voting on the special purpose tax proposed at the fairground said they were happy to see a voter identification law in place.
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“I think we need to have a voter card,” Chris Frude said after voting. âEvery state needs this. “
The law was introduced – on the third try – by Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, in an attempt to tackle voter fraud following numerous allegations about it in the wake of the 2020 general election.
Voter fraud is extremely rare in Wyoming, with only a few incidents recorded in recent decades. In Casper on Tuesday, voters said they weren’t necessarily concerned about fraudulent votes, but believed that requiring ID was reasonable policy.
“I think most people have ID,” Vector Ed Reed said.
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In previous elections, Wyoming voters only had to provide their name and address, as long as they were already on the county voters’ registers.
Now voters must bring ID with them to receive a ballot. Requirements have not changed for people registering at polling stations, who have always had to provide identification.
Of the 1,000 people who voted at the fairgrounds before 3 p.m. Tuesday, Electoral Judge Kent Shambaugh said only five showed up without their ID. Four of them returned home to get it before returning to vote, Shambaugh said, and the other filed a provisional ballot that will be verified once they show ID at the palace county justice Wednesday.
Shambaugh said based on his work experience in previous elections, most people were willing to show their ID anyway, even if it wasn’t necessary.
âI guess eight out of ten would come and hand it over to us,â he said.
At a polling station in Interfaith in Natrona County, Election Judge Jeanne Leske said only one of 42 voters they saw in the afternoon came without valid ID.
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Voters voted on just one issue on Tuesday – whether or not to approve a sixth penny of temporary sales tax that would fund replacement of water lines for Midwest and Edgerton and complete construction of the last section of Midwest Avenue in Casper.
Many voters said they were motivated to vote for clean water for towns in northern Natrona County and the nearby Salt Creek oil field.
âThere is such a small population, so how much money can they put in there? Â»Says Lexann Littau. âI just want to do something good for the city.
Larry and Marcia Stroh have said they are ok with the additional tax since it will only be in place for three months, from April to June of next year. Several others also pointed out that the limited scope of the tax made it easier to vote.
Only a few voters said they opposed the tax, saying construction projects, including those of this type, should be covered from existing budgets.
Others said they were doing their civic duty there and had made a habit of voting in every election.
Turnout was low, in line with expectations set by previous special elections according to election officials and the county clerk. The fairgrounds serve 13 constituencies in Casper, but smaller places like Interfaith in North Casper registered far fewer votes on Tuesday.
According to County Clerk Tracy Good, 769 people had voted early and 534 had voted by mail on Monday afternoon.
Closing of polling stations Tuesday evening at 7 p.m.
Follow the city and criminal reporter Ellen Gerst on Twitter at @ellengerst.