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Wyoming Senate passes bill intended to limit who votes in a party primary

Wyoming Senate
Bob Beck
Wyoming Public Radio
Wyoming Senate

The Wyoming Senate has given final approval to a bill that will limit voters ability to change parties in a primary election. Senate File 97 requires voters to choose a party before the slate of primary candidates is released in May.

Sheridan Sen. Bo Biteman said the purpose is to keep people from trying to change the outcome of a primary election by switching parties, something he said has happened as recently as the last general election. Opponents said it will disenfranchise the number of independent and unaffiliated voters in the state.

Jackson Sen. Mike Gierau said some people just want to vote for the best person or a friend. But Rock Springs Sen. John Kolb said primaries are about political parties and people from outside a party shouldn’t have an impact on the outcome.

“We have a situation where frankly the situation does get gamed. Maybe not in all counties and in all situations but it does get gamed and I think that’s a situation that needs to be addressed. Now is this the absolute best way of doing that, I’m not saying that but it is a way of doing that,”said Kolb.

The bill passed 18 to 12. It now goes to the House for its consideration.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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