Bill Aimed At Crossover Voting Loses In Wyoming Senate Committee
A bill aimed at discouraging crossover voting in Wyoming primary elections was voted down in a Wyoming Senate Committee Tuesday morning.
Senate File 32 would have prevented voters from changing parties less than ten weeks before a Wyoming Primary Election. The cutoff date would coincide with the date at which candidates could start filing for primary elections.
In Senate Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee discussion of the bill on Tuesday, Sen. Charles Scott (R-Natrona County) said he thought the passage of the bill would offend many of the voters in his Senate district.
He explained that many of his constituents work in the oil and gas industries, commonly moving into the district from out of state. He said many of those voters are unaffiliated and would like the freedom to be able to vote for the candidate of their choice in a primary election, rather than being restricted by partisan labels.
Committee chair Sen. Bill Landen [R-Natrona County] said even though the state Republican party leadership clearly supports the bill, he hasn't detected any groundswell of support for it among rank-and-file Republican voters. Sen. Wendy Shuler [R-Uinta County} said her emails on the proposal have been running ''about 50-50" for and against the proposal.
The final vote in committee was 3-2 against the measure, with Sen. Shuler and Sen. Tara Nethercott [R-Laramie County] voting in favor of sending the bill onto the full Senate despite the fact they both had serious reservations about the proposal. But Sens. Scott, Landen and Cale Case [R-Fremont County] voted against the measure.
Landen said he was torn on how he should vote, and appeared to still be making a decision before finally casting the tie-breaking vote on the measure.
A similar bill, House Bill 106, remains alive in the Wyoming House and at last report was still awaiting action in a House committee.