CASPER, WYO. (AP) — Wyoming Republicans taking part in the state’s first virtual party convention demanded a new vote for what some perceive as an illegitimate election within their own ranks.
Incumbent National Committeeman Corey Steinmetz was reelected over challenger Sam Galeotos during the convention Saturday, The Casper Star-Tribune reported.
Harriet Hageman defeated former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Cubin in the race for national committeewoman.
Steinmetz and Hageman were both favored candidates of the party leadership.
Galeotos, a former Republican candidate for governor, entered the convention with endorsements from top Wyoming conservatives including financier Foster Friess, former Congresswoman and current U.S. Senate candidate Cynthia Lummis, former Wyoming Senate President Eli Bebout, and influential party member Diemer True.
Cubin was backed over Hageman by establishment Republicans including U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi, retiring Wyoming Rep. Hank Coe, Bebout and True.
Dozens of delegates at the convention were quick to cast doubt on the final tally.
By the time voting closed in the race for national committeeman and committeewoman, 268 out of 463 eligible delegates had completed and submitted ballots.
Some said their votes were not counted. Others said they improperly received ballots or never received ballots at all.
Despite demands from numerous individuals on the conference call, the meeting was ended before the situation was resolved.
Throughout the virtual convention, concerns were raised by numerous delegates on how to vote via their computer and how to cast separate ballots for people sharing a single computer.
Vote totals often fluctuated, with between 300 and 400 delegates voting on a single issue.
Party officials and those backing the winning candidates said the voting difficulties were a consequence of problems resulting from conducting a meeting remotely.
Some members expect to push the party to recast the vote in the coming weeks.
“As Republicans, we believe in fair elections,” Natrona County Republican Party Chairman Joe McGinley said. “We believe in the voice of the voter being heard. So I would strongly urge we vote in a manner where all votes can be valid and accurate.”