Media Contact

Janna Farley,

February 21, 2024

Voting is a fundamental right of our democracy. The decisions made on school boards, city halls, at the state legislature and the United States Congress affect the lives of all Wyomingites. And while there are many ways to influence our elected officials, there is only one way to determine who those officials will be: by voting.

That’s why the ACLU of Wyoming opposes House Bill 38, legislation that would require people to live in the state for at least 30 days to register to vote. The bill will be heard by the House Corporations Committee upon the noon recess today.

“Requiring a citizen to reside in a certain place for a predetermined length of time places an unnecessary – and unconstitutional – barrier to a citizen’s right to register to vote and participate in elections,” said Antonio Serrano, ACLU of Wyoming advocacy director. “Restricting the terms and requirements of registration is one of the most common forms of voter suppression. Our lawmakers should be doing everything they can to encourage participation from all eligible voters – not making it harder.”

In 1972, the United States Supreme Court affirmed in Dunn v. Blumstein that durational residency requirements for voter registration do not withstand legal scrutiny and violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Additionally, a 30-day durational residency law would discriminate against new residents of Wyoming, treating them harsher and differently from residents who have lived in the state longer. This affects people’s rights to live and travel from state to state. 

“Voting is a constitutional right that is fundamental to the health of our democracy,” Serrano said. “House Bill 38 attempts to solve a problem that doesn’t exist and is a waste of the legislature’s limited time and resources. We’re urge Wyoming lawmakers to reject this bill.”

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.