JACKSON, Wyo. — It wasn’t his golden birthday but for Bode Welch, Nov. 8 was different than other years. Welch turned 18 on Nov. 8, allowing him to cast his first ballot in Teton County.

Welch went down to the Teton County Weed and Pest Shop after school yesterday, along with his mom Diana Welch. With no line, just before 5 p.m., Welch was able to register to vote, find a seat and fill in his ballot.

Teton County Weed and Pest Shop on election day, Nov. 8. Photo: Lindsay Vallen // Buckrail

He spoke to Buckrail after he fed his ballot into the machine. “It felt good, it was a little bit daunting,” he said.

When asked about how he informed his vote he said, “we looked at the newspaper and the special edition they had and just kind of went over the people on the ballot.”

What was he most excited to vote for?

“SPET and being for them and the larger statewide offices,” Welch said.

Welch lives in Melody Ranch, so he was able to vote for County Commissioners and State House District 23. While this was his first time voting, it likely will not be the last. Welch says he plans to continue to vote in elections as he moves into adulthood.

As for the rest of his birthday celebration, Welch said they were headed home for a fondu dinner and that he planned to, “just eat cake and study for tests.”

Welch’s birthday also aligned with November’s full moon and the last lunar eclipse of the season. Although the lunar eclipse was hidden by cloud coverage, it all seems like a good omen for the year to come.

Lindsay Vallen is a Community News Reporter covering a little bit of everything; with an interest in politics, wildlife, and amplifying community voices. Originally from the east coast, Lindsay has called Wilson, Wyoming home since 2017. In her free time, she enjoys snowboarding, hiking, cooking, and completing the Jackson Hole Daily crosswords.