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Wyoming approves Voter ID bill

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Sarah Downey | The Center Square contributor

(The Center Square) – Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon has signed new legislation, HB 75, which will require Wyoming voters to present identification when they cast ballots in person.

The law, sponsored by state Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, is the culmination of several sessions of work by the Wyoming legislature to pass a Voter ID bill.

“It is a proactive effort to keep Wyoming’s elections among the elite in the areas of security and transparency,” Wyoming Secretary of State Ed Buchanan told The Center Square. “While it is a legislative prerogative to pass laws of this nature, I am thankful that the sponsors of the bill were open to input by my office, the 23 county clerks across the state and even AARP.”

The bill, which does not apply for absentee voting, passed the Wyoming House and Senate in votes earlier this month.

Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss, D-Laramie, told The Center Square that the bill, “is an anti-democratic response to unfounded allegations of voter fraud that have been fueled by misinformation and partisan anger over the 2020 election.”

Rothfuss said the measure will not significantly reduce illegal voting in Wyoming because there has been no problem with illegal voting in Wyoming.

“However, studies have clearly shown that it will reduce voter turnout and disproportionately decrease election participation by elderly, low income and minority populations,” Rothfuss said. “HB0075, ‘Voter identification,’ was voter suppression, disguised as a solution, in search of a problem.”

Gray told the Cowboy State Daily the bill is a victory for citizens of Wyoming.

“It is a necessary function of our Republic to provide our citizens with confidence that our elections are secure, fair, and valid,” Gray said. “I am proud that we were able to meet this important milestone for Wyoming.”

Buchanan noted that the variety of identification options is such that no voter will be disfranchised for failure to have acceptable identification.

“The final legislation even includes an option for voters to obtain a Wyoming ID card free of charge for the purpose of voting,” Buchanan said. “I remain dedicated to ensuring the people of Wyoming can freely exercise their right to vote in a state that continues to exemplify safe and secure elections.”