Absentee voting is a safe, secure and effective way for Wyomingites to vote. But a number of bills up for debate in the Wyoming legislature would add unnecessary restrictions on obtaining and casting an absentee ballot and will not make Wyoming elections more secure but rather make it harder for people to vote.
The ACLU of Wyoming opposes these bills. These restrictions could be particularly onerous for rural voters who would otherwise have to travel long distances to vote in person and for working people with families who can’t take time off to vote and risk supersizing the issues of racial discrimination and disenfranchisement that Black, Hispanic and other voters of color have already spent generations fighting.
- Returning absentee ballots for other people is an effective way to ensure more people are able participate in democracy, but House Bill 211 would limit who can collect absentee ballots and how many they can return to county election offices.
- Like voter registration drives, distributing absentee ballot request forms is an effective way to promote the availability of absentee voting, but Senate File 131 would prohibit people from doing so.
- Voter ID laws deprive many voters of their right to vote, reduce participation and stand in direct opposition to our country’s trend of including more Americans in the democratic process. House Bill 219 and House Bill 279 would add an ID requirement to absentee ballot requests.
“Because nothing is more sacred to our democracy than the right to vote, our elected officials should be doing everything they can to encourage people to vote – not making it harder, as these bills adding more restrictions to absentee voting would do,” said Antonio Serrano, ACLU of Wyoming advocacy director. “Elections are central to our democracy. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, a liberal or a conservative, you should want a fair system. Adding barriers to obtaining or returning an absentee ballot limits the ability of all Wyomingites to participate in democracy.”
About the ACLU of Wyoming
The American Civil Liberties Union of Wyoming is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of civil liberties and civil rights. The ACLU of Wyoming is part of a three-state chapter that also includes North Dakota and South Dakota. The team in Wyoming is supported by staff in those states.
The ACLU believes freedoms of press, speech, assembly, and religion, and the rights to due process, equal protection and privacy, are fundamental to a free people. In addition, the ACLU seeks to advance constitutional protections for groups traditionally denied their rights, including people of color, women, and the LGBTQ communities. The ACLU of Wyoming carries out its work through selective litigation, lobbying at the state and local level, and through public education and awareness of what the Bill of Rights means for the people of Wyoming.