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Early voting remains popular in Wyoming after hitting an all-time high in 2020

Looking over the shoulder of someone wearing a large cowboy hat, Harriet Hageman stands behind a podium bearing her red and white campaign sign. Behind her are large American flags and another campaign sign.
Courtesy of Hageman for Wyoming
Representative-elect Harriet Hageman gives a speech on the campaign trail. She won the 2022 election for U.S. Representative in an election cycle where 40 percent of voters cast their ballots early.

About 40 percent of Wyoming voters voted early this year, either in person or by mail. That's according to a new study conducted by the University of Wyoming.

UW Political Science Professor Jim King said the amount of early voting has gone down from 2020, when nearly half (48 percent) of Wyoming cast their ballots before election day. But the amount of early voting remains well above its pre-pandemic level (31 percent in 2018).

King said some voters undoubtedly got familiar and comfortable with the convenience of early voting.

"As early voting opportunities were expanded and people were encouraged to do that in 2020, because of the pandemic, they found that this is easy," he said. "You don't have to fight the lines at the poll on election day. And so I think more people are taking advantage of that opportunity."

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to cast early ballots. And King said older voters are also more likely to vote early in-person or by mail.

"It is younger voters who are more likely to simply show up at the polls on Election Day, and cast their ballots that way," he said.

Most early voters cast their ballots in person at their local county clerk's or election office. Only a third of early voters voted by mail.

This was the first year most county clerks and voters had to navigate Wyoming’s new Voter ID law, which requires voters to bring driver's licenses or other ID to the polls. But King said the new requirement was not viewed as inconvenient by those surveyed.

"Before the election, we asked survey participants if they approved or disapproved of the new voter ID law, and 92 percent indicated their approval," King said in a UW news release. "After the election, we asked voters about the difficulty in complying with the law. Only one voter characterized the process as 'not too difficult.' Everyone else we interviewed replied that it was 'not difficult at all.'"

Jeff is a part-time reporter for Wyoming Public Media, as well as the owner and editor of the Laramie Reporter, a free online news source providing in-depth and investigative coverage of local events and trends.
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