Absentee voting closes, primary polls open in Wyoming

2014-08-18T23:30:00Z Absentee voting closes, primary polls open in WyomingBy LAURA HANCOCK Casper Star-Tribune The Billings Gazette
August 18, 2014 11:30 pm  • 

CASPER, Wyo. — More than 19,000 Wyomingites voted ahead of Tuesday’s Republican and Democratic primaries, which winnow down each party’s list of candidates for the Nov. 4 general election.

Voters who have not dropped off absentee ballots can do so at their county clerk’s office before 7 p.m. Tuesday, said Peggy Nighswonger, the state’s election director.

Most everyone else can vote Tuesday, even if they’re not registered. Wyoming has same-day voter registration, Nighswonger said. People can register to vote at their polling places.

About 258,000 Wyomingites were registered to vote as of Aug. 1, according to Wyoming Secretary of State Election Division records. Of that number, about 167,600 people were registered as Republicans and nearly 53,000 were registered as Democrats.

The remaining registered voters belonged to third parties or were unaffiliated.

Election results will trickle in throughout the night, Nighswonger said. Some counties are faster than others.

“A lot of them have polling places that are 90 miles away from the county clerk’s office,” she said.

The state plane will be on standby throughout Tuesday, ready if there are any problems with the state’s electronic voting system. A contractor to the Omaha, Nebraska, company that sold the system will be in Cheyenne all day, ready to fly to the far corners of the state.

Republican Gov. Matt Mead, who seeks re-election, will be watching the election results at his campaign headquarters on Dell Range Boulevard in Cheyenne. GOP challenger physician, rancher and business owner Taylor Haynes is having a party at the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Casper. Superintendent of Public Instruction and GOP candidate Cindy Hill did not reply to a question about where her party will be.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Pete Gosar, who doesn’t have any primary opponents, is throwing a party at his house on Bonneville Street in Laramie, he said.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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