Wyoming Democrats Add Mail-In Ranked Choice Ballots To Caucus System

Jan 30, 2020

Credit Wyoming Democratic Party

Wyoming Democrats will be able to take part in their local caucus this year without needing to attend the complicated, and sometimes lengthy, event.

The Wyoming Democratic Party will be mailing ballots to its members soon, allowing them to rank their choices for presidential candidate. Those ballots will help decide how the state party divvies up its support for various candidates at the national convention in July.

Wyoming Democrats will send 18 delegates to that national convention, where the dems' final presidential contender will be decided. These Wyoming delegates are chosen via a caucus system that begins at the county level.

A caucus allows party members to change their presidential candidate vote when their first choice fails to achieve viability.

Wyoming Democratic Party Director Joe Barbuto said a drawback with the caucus system is that voting must be done in person.

"But we wanted to be able to include people who may not show up physically," he said. "So this year, we'll be mailing out ballots to every registered Democrat in Wyoming."

Those ballots will let voters rank their choices. That means that if your first choice for candidate doesn't hit the party's 15 percent threshold for viability, your vote will be transferred to your second choice.

Barbuto said the change is part of a wider move to expand participation. He said another change comes from the party's leadership.

"We've all signed a pledge of neutrality in this race, so we're not making any endorsements, we're not doing anything to support an individual candidate," he said. "We're doing everything we can to make this process unbiased and fair.

The mail-in ballots will be sent out in February. County Democratic parties host their individual caucuses in April. The state convention is planned for June 6 in Park County.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Jeff Victor, at jvictor@uwyo.edu.