Wyoming Feels Ripple Of The Blue Wave, Too

Nov 15, 2018

An example of Clifford's Facebook messaging. Here she compiled precinct data to let voters know how high their turnout was.
Credit Andrea Clifford Campaign

Wyoming may be the reddest state in the nation but even the Cowboy State felt a ripple from the blue wave in this month's midterm election.

Voter turnout was up around 15 percent in Fremont County where the Wind River Reservation sits in central Wyoming. That helped Northern Arapaho member Andrea Clifford beat out her Republican rival, incumbent Jim Allen, to take a state house seat. Clifford credits her creative use of and responsiveness on social media for getting out the vote.

"Native people, we're into social media," said Clifford. "It's like our newest, latest technology of the moccasin telegraph and number one being Facebook. So you'll see a lot of my Facebook posts are what I capitalized on."

For example, when potential voters reached out to her Facebook page to ask where they could vote, she got back to them with their polling station.

She decided to be proactive because of pre-election concerns that Native turnout could be affected by confusion over what ID they needed to vote.

County Clerk Julie Freese said everything went pretty smoothly.

"I definitely did not register hundreds of people on the reservation," Freese said, "but maybe they were a little more ready to do early voting than they had in the past."

Freese says she spent quite a bit of money in advance educating the Native community about which IDs they needed to vote.