Election Day

Residents vote Nov. 8, 2016 at the Mills Community Center. The state is beginning to look into replacing aging voting machines.

File, Star-Tribune

Wyoming voting officials have started looking into replacing aging election equipment across the state. A panel of state officials has been convened to determine whether new machines are needed and how much replacement would cost, as well as where to seek funding.

“The State of Wyoming is responsible for providing citizens with an election process that can be trusted. Wyoming is leading the charge with this Task Force to ensure that no county is left with voting equipment at risk of deteriorating,” State Election Director Kai Schon said in a statement.

The panel is known as the Plan for Aging Voting Equipment, or PAVE, and was announced last week.

It is a collaboration between Secretary of State Ed Murray and the Wyoming County Clerks, the local officials who oversee elections.

The PAVE task force has 11 members, including Murray and four state lawmakers. The group met once in October and will meet “as needed” over the next 12 months.

“The election process, and the delivery of elections, is a matter of state sovereignty. The Task Force understands the gravity of this undertaking,” Murray said.

The press release announcing the creation of the panel said that while Wyoming’s elections remained accurate and free from interference, much of the voting equipment being used across the state is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Murray, a prospective candidate for governor, has been relatively outspoken on issues of voting integrity. He was one of several Republican secretaries of state who declined to participate in a White House-led commission to investigate voter fraud across the country.

At the time, Murray said that he believed it was part of a larger effort by the federal government to interfere in state elections by stirring up fear about the integrity of local polls.

Arno Rosenfeld covers state politics.

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Arno Rosenfeld covers state politics including the Legislature and Wyoming’s D.C. delegation, focusing especially on the major issues facing the Cowboy State like economic diversification and what it means to be the most conservative state in the nation.

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