Primary Elections in Wyoming are about to be even more closed off to the people. In 2023, the Wyoming Legislature passed a law that voters in primary elections must declare their party identification BEFORE candidates are even known. This unfounded worry of crossover voting will lead to a hyper-selective voting process. Fewer voters in a primary leads to false representation that does not truly reflect our community’s interests. See this link for more information on the current Wyoming laws- https://www.wyomingpublicmedia.org/politics-government/2023-02-28/a-bill-that-limits-crossover-voting-is-headed-to-the-governor
We at Wyoming Rising believe there is a better choice. In an open primary, a voter is able to select the candidate that best aligns with their ideas, regardless of party identification. Open primaries would help increase voter turnout. It would also make our primary elections more representative of the population. The following are reasons we must have open primaries in Wyoming. The list is courtesy of www.openprimaries.org/
- FAIRNESS: Millions of independent voters–the fastest growing segment of the electorate–are excluded from voting in closed partisan primaries.
- PUBLIC FUNDING: Primary elections are publicly funded and administered. No American should be required to join a political party in order to vote in a public election.
- VOTER CHOICE: Voters want to be able to choose from among all the candidates. Closed partisan primaries don’t allow that.
- BETTER OUTCOMES: Elected officials perform better when competition is increased and they are incentivized to listen to their entire constituencies, not just partisan primary voters.