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Wyoming Voting ID Bill Moves Forward

Wyoming Legislature

The Wyoming House Corporations Committee approved a bill that looks to change the rules around voter identification in the state.

The bill would require voters to show specific identifications such as drivers licenses, state issued and tribal ID cards, passports or military ID or a medicare card, before voting in person.

Many people testified and were split on whether such a bill was necessary given there are few to no voter fraud cases in Wyoming. Additionally, it could lead to potential barriers and voting access issues.

Marguerite Herman from Wyoming's League of Women Voters said there isn't much of a premise for it.

"Aside from potential suppression this proposal would, I think, support the false narrative that our elections currently are insecure and the results are unreliable. I don't think that's true and I haven't seen any evidence of it," she said.

Additionally, some who testified would rather see lawmakers and public officials take on the challenge of getting more voter turnout in the state.

Gail Symons said that many people in the country do believe voter fraud is a real issue, and that needs to be acknowledged, though this may not be the way.

"The issue is that we need to address the perception of voter fraud," she said. "Therefore, if this type of legislation, will help bolster that feeling that we do, in fact, have probably the most appropriate and capable registration and voter id processes in the country, I think that alone makes it well worthwhile."

Many who spoke in favor of the bill said it's a preventative measure and that it will make Wyomingites feel the voting system is more secure.

However, those in favor of the bill said it's preventative and will lead to more security.

"I think that preserving the integrity of our elections and making sure that we are the gold standard in our nation as Wyoming nights is of critical importance," said Cassie Craven, who represents the Wyoming Liberty Group. "I don't support a method of lawmaking that sits back and waits until something is broken before we take initiative."

Wyoming's AARP also supports the bill because of the access it does create for older Wyomingites who have Medicare.

The committee voted six to three on the bill and it will now move to the house floor.

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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