Wyoming Legislature Approves Voter ID Bill

Wyoming Legislature Approves Voter ID Bill
The Wyoming statehouse is seen in Cheyenne, Wyo., on Jan. 28, 2021. (Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
Zachary Stieber

Both chambers in Wyoming on Thursday approved a bill that requires voters to present identification before voting.

The state House passed the bill 51–8 after the Senate approved it 28–2.

The legislation requires people to present proof of ID before voting. Proof can be a driver’s license, a tribal identification card, a Wyoming identification card, a U.S. passport, a U.S. military card, an ID from a university or public school within the state, or a Medicare or Medicaid insurance card.

A person “may vote only if the person presents acceptable identification immediately before voting at the polling place or absentee polling place,” the bill states.

If the person is unable to present an acceptable ID, then the voter may vote by provisional ballot.

State Rep. Chuck Gray, a Republican who sponsored the legislation, told The Epoch Times in an emailed statement that the passage “is a victory for the citizens of Wyoming.”

“It is a necessary function of our Republic to provide our citizens with confidence that our elections are secure, fair, and valid. Even though it took over 20 years for us to pass this necessary legislation, I am proud that we were able to meet this important milestone for Wyoming,” added Gray, who is challenging Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) for the state’s only U.S. House seat.

The American Civil Liberties Union said the bill “claims to address voter fraud yet voter fraud doesn’t exist,” adding in an alert, “It is clear that certain lawmakers just want to make it harder for Wyomingites to access the ballot box.”

State Sen. Case Cale, one of two votes against the bill, questioned why it was needed.

“Who is out there trying to cheat our elections in Wyoming?” the Republican said, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. “Who is waking up real early in the morning, and thinking they’re going to get to the polls before the actual person that is there to vote to misrepresent themselves as that person and to cast a vote? I’m having a little trouble understanding how this fraud comes about.”

State Sen. Charles Scott, a Republican and a proponent of the bill, said it contained a “common sense” and “preventative measure.”

“We have been blessed in this state with very honest elections,” he said. “... We want to keep it that way.”

The passage came after an amendment added a valid Medicaid insurance card as an option for voters to use as identification. That option is in effect until Dec. 21, 2029.

The bill is headed to the desk of GOP Gov. Mark Gordon. A spokesman didn’t respond on Friday when asked if the governor supports the legislation.