Lawmakers push testifiers for evidence of voter fraud but come up empty-handed
A seemingly harmless bill considered by the Wyoming Legislature's Corporations Committee Friday, Oct. 14, inspired significant debate surrounding allegations of voter fraud.
The proposed bill would codify the election equipment guidelines Wyoming already follows — and which are already followed by every other state.
"This doesn't really establish anything new," Wyoming’s Election Director Kai Schon said. "It really just simply protects that process by codifying it."
But when lawmakers discussed the bill Friday, it set off a lengthy debate surrounding allegations of voter fraud.
Several public commenters derided the bill, arguing that electronic vote-counting systems weren't safe and shouldn't be used and advocating for a hand-count.
Richard Ong, an Evanston attorney with a group called Choose Liberty Now, claimed that recent instances of voter fraud underlined the need for more secure elections. But Senator Cale Case pushed him for evidence.
"So, I think the problem is there are a lot of allegations but there seems to be no proof," Case said. "Do you have any proof that the Wyoming ballot process is flawed?"
But Ong could not provide substantiated examples.
"I do not sir," he said. "I am not aware of any indications that the Wyoming electoral process is compromised in any way."
Others drew on personal anecdotes and gut feelings to justify their opposition to the bill or advocacy for paper ballots.
Kathy Russell, executive director of the Wyoming Republican Party, claimed three people had admitted to her they had committed voter fraud by voting in multiple states during the 2020 election.
Senator Cale Case pushed her for details, but Russell could not provide any further information.
"Mrs. Russell, in the cases where three people told you that they committed ballot fraud, did you report that to anyone?" he asked.
"No," she said. "They wouldn’t give me their names."
The bill advanced out of committee on a 12-1 vote. It can now head to the full legislature for further consideration during the next session.