Wyoming Senate committee wants more work on voter ID bill

2013-01-24T20:45:00Z 2013-01-25T15:47:07Z Wyoming Senate committee wants more work on voter ID billBy LAURA HANCOCK Star-Tribune staff writer Casper Star-Tribune Online

CHEYENNE – A state Senate committee delayed action Thursday on a bill that would require voters to show identification at polling places, asking the sponsors rework it.

Current state law only requires identification when people register to vote.

“It’s been up before,” said Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, one of the bill’s sponsors. “It deals with voter identification and the means to prove where you’re from when you go to vote. SF134 addresses what is becoming more of an issue nationwide and has come to Wyoming. It seems to be a growing problem.”

The problem is that registered voters show up at the wrong precincts to vote for candidates who would not be on the ballot in their actual precincts, Driskill said.

Opponents say the bill is a solution looking for a problem.

The types of IDs that would be accepted under Senate File 134 are those from the state and federal governments. That can be a problem for people without driver’s licenses, who have long distances and transportation issues getting to a state building to receive another picture ID, said Marguerite Herman of the League of Women Voters.

Some residents of the Wind River Indian Reservation register to vote with tribal IDs. Since tribes are not part of Wyoming or federal government, the IDs would be rejected at polling places, said Dan Neal of the Equality State Policy Center.

Utility bills, in some instances, would be accepted under SF134. But in homes where many people live, the utilities may be addressed to a different person than the one trying to vote, Neal said.

“Temp workers living in a man camp, should they be stopped if they have no intentions of voting anywhere else?” Neal said.

When someone registers to vote in Wyoming, county clerks send letters to their former states to notify them of the change to prevent dual voting.

“I had an attorney who I know was not living in Fremont County,” Fremont County Clerk Julie Freese said. “I know where he was living. He should have been [voting] in Hot Springs County.”

But the attorney argued that he lives at his Riverton office. Freese couldn’t send him back to Hot Springs County.

“We don’t have any residency requirements,” she said.

That’s one of the reasons why the Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee requested the bill be reworked. Some of the problems the bill addresses may be remedied by correcting other state laws, committee Chairman Sen. Cale Case said.

The bill may ultimately have to be worked on by a committee during the interim and introduced next year, Case said.

Copyright 2015 Casper Star-Tribune Online. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(3) Comments

  1. Panhead
    Report Abuse
    Panhead - January 26, 2013 9:16 am
  2. Pops
    Report Abuse
    Pops - January 25, 2013 6:24 pm
    Voter fraud is not an issue and never has been an issue. Politicians on the far right spin this tale of fraud to gain an advantage at the polls.
  3. Completely Fed Up
    Report Abuse
    Completely Fed Up - January 25, 2013 4:31 pm
    “It deals with voter identification and the means to prove where you’re from when you go to vote. SF134 addresses what is becoming more of an issue nationwide and has come to Wyoming. It seems to be a growing problem.”

    What utter hogwash. Now, Mr. Blowhard Legislator, where are the stats to back up your baloney?

    Voter fraud is an "issue" only for wingnuts who want to prevent poor people and minorities from voting. It's a form of poll tax, since those ID cards cost money. Election fraud, in which the vote counters commit fraud, is a real issue, as we all saw first-hand in Florida during the 2000 election, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ended up giving the election to Bush the Lesser.

    By the way, punch card ballots work just fine, and did so for decades, irrespective of the Florida debacle. The fill-in-the-oval -- perfectly, if you don't want your ballot thrown out by unscrupulous election officials -- ballots used in Wyoming are a joke. They are designed for one purpose: to facilitate ELECTION FRAUD. And yet, our mighty state legislators continue to beat the dead horse of voter fraud, which rarely occurs.

    Why do people continue to put up with these lies from wealth-serving politicians?
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