Legislation to curtail Election Day affiliation changes moves forward

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – Legislation that would stop election day party affiliation changes was approved by the House Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee last week, teeing up the bill for consideration by the full House of Representatives this week.

Similar bills have been presented and failed, including one last year. Such a restriction could curtail voters from switching parties on a primary election day to vote in another party’s primary.

“This is something that I have been working on since my first term in 2015,” said chief bill sponsor Representative Jim Blackburn (HD-42). “This is an important issue that can have a significant impact on Wyoming elections. There have been a number of edits to this bill which have made it stronger and I look forward to having the opportunity to debate this on the House floor this week.”

HB0209 Change in Party Affiliation was approved by the House Corporations Committee last week on a vote of 8-1. State statute currently says that party affiliation changes must be done no less than 14 days before an election, but voters could also change party affiliation on the day of either the primary or general election. HB 209 would remove the ability to change major political party affiliation on the day of the primary or general election.

If approved by the Senate and signed by the Governor, the law would take effect January 1, 2021.

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