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Voter purge means some may need to re-register to vote in this year’s primary, general elections

A smiling man stands before a gray-blue wall
David Dudley
Wyoming Public Media
Tom Lacock, Wyoming AARP's Associate Director of State Advocacy, at their office in Cheyenne.

Secretary of State data show there are nearly 90,000 fewer registered voters in Wyoming today than there were two years ago.

That's because Wyoming law requires county clerks to remove the names of voters who did not vote in the most recent general election of 2022. Those who didn't vote then will need to re-register in order to vote in upcoming local, state and national elections.

Tom Lacock, associate director for state advocacy and communications at American Association of Retired People (AARP) of Wyoming, said that many would-be voters won't know until it's too late.

"If you come in, let's say, at five o'clock, six o'clock to vote, only to find out that you've been purged from the system, someone's probably going to send you home to find some very specific pieces of information," said Lacock.

But the deadlines to register have also shifted. Legislation passed in 2023 requires voters to register their party affiliation by May 15th. And the early voting window has been reduced from forty-five days to twenty-eight. That change will impact this year’s state primary on Aug. 20, as well as the general election on Nov. 5, which includes the U.S. presidential election.

Lacock said voters should check their status as soon as possible. He also offered advice on how to do so.

"The simplest way to figure out if you've been purged or not is simply to call your county clerk and give them your name," Lacock said. "They can tell you whether or not you've been purged from the system and need to re-register or not."

This reporting was made possible by a grant from the Corporation For Public Broadcasting, supporting state government coverage in the state. Wyoming Public Media and Jackson Hole Community Radio are partnering to cover state issues both on air and online.

David Dudley is an award-winning journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Christian Science Monitor, High Country News, WyoFile, and the Wyoming Truth, among many others. David was a Guggenheim Crime in America Fellow at John Jay College from 2020-2023. During the past 10 years, David has covered city and state government, business, economics and public safety beats for various publications. He lives in Cheyenne with his family.

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