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Wyoming's Primary Election Turnout Was A Record

Wyoming's primary election results have been certified by the state's canvassing board.

The August 18 election brought in the highest primary turnout ever for a presidential election year in Wyoming, at around 61 percent of registered voters participating. Of that, 62 percent chose to vote in-person on election day or in-person absentee ahead of time. Leaving 53,601 absentee votes sent through the mail.

Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan said he attributes the turnout this year to a media campaign from the state that inspired confidence despite the pandemic. He said that campaign explained health and safety precautions for voters.

"We highlighted the choices voters had, whether that be absentee voting or in person at the polls. So I think that paid off," he said. "I also think people are excited about the 2020 election year and maybe some of the national enthusiasm trickles down to the state level perhaps."

Buchanan said his office will be putting the same safety precautions in place for the general election this November.

Additionally, Buchanan said counties received new voting machines ahead of the August primary, and they worked well for counties.

"That process. I thought, with COVID, we might have to wait, or with these new machines, we'd have to wait. And there'd be certain kinks we'd have to work out with new systems and there was none of that. So we got wonderful reviews from our county clerks and wonder reviews from our voters," Buchanan said.

Absentee voting for the general election this November begins on September 18.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Catherine Wheeler, at cwheel11@uwyo.edu.

Catherine Wheeler comes to Wyoming from Kansas City, Missouri. She has worked at public media stations in Missouri and on the Vox podcast "Today, Explained." Catherine graduated from Fort Lewis College with a BA in English. She recently received her master in journalism from the University of Missouri. Catherine enjoys cooking, looming, reading and the outdoors.
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