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Laramie County sees seven-fold increase in absentee ballots from 2016 Primary Election

Credit: WHSV
Credit: WHSV(WHSV)
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 7:32 PM CDT
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (PRESS RELEASE) - More 25 percent of Laramie County’s 35,572 registered voters have requested an absentee ballot for the August 18 Primary Election. Since the start of absentee voting on July 2, the Clerk’s office has mailed nearly 9300 ballots to voters who requested them and requests are still coming in. Voters have until the day before the Primary to request a mail ballot.

Laramie County Clerk Debra Lee said the response from voters is “unprecedented”. “Typically, we mail an average of around 1600 Primary Election absentee ballots during the 45-day period of absentee voting. This year, the number of requests we have for absentee ballots is staggering.”

Lee said since the start of early voting on July 2 in the Laramie County Governmental Complex, a total of 207 voters cast their ballots in person. “That number is close to what we saw during the same period in 2016. It’s been slow but steady.”

Early voting is underway in the atrium of the county building, 309 W. 20th St., 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, with the exception of county holidays. Voters enter through the atrium door on the Carey Avenue side of the building. Protocols are in place to provide social distancing of voters and election staff as well as a “touch free” voting experience where voters use disposal paper straws to make their choices on their ballot. The last day for early voting is Aug. 17.

Persons wishing to just register and vote later, to update or change their registration, or request an absentee ballot may do so in the Voter Service Center, Room 1200, near the atrium of the county building. New registrants and persons wanting to change party affiliation must bring their Wyoming driver’s license and if they do not have one, another valid government-issued photo ID such as military ID, Wyoming ID, or U.S. passport. The Voter Service Center is open weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,. until Aug. 3.

Lee offered the following pointers for absentee voters:

· You must be a registered voter to request a ballot.

· You may request an absentee ballot by mail, telephone (633-4242) or email (election@laramiecountyclerk.com). You must provide your name as listed on the voter registration, your residence address, date of birth, mailing address, and for the Primary Election, a political party.

· You may not request an absentee ballot on the day of the election.

· Once your request is received, allow 10 days for your ballot to arrive in the mail. If it does not arrive, contact the Election office at 633-4242 immediately. We will cancel your first ballot and send you another one.

· If you misplace your ballot, call the Election office at 633-4242. We will cancel the first ballot and send you a replacement.

· Be sure to follow the instructions for completing your ballot. Use black ink and fill in the ovals completely.

· Sign the affidavit on the envelope. Envelopes without the voter’s signature will not be counted.

· In order to be counted, your ballot must be delivered to the Clerk’s office not later than 7:00 p.m. on Aug. 18. Ballots may be returned by mail, in person, or placed in the secure voter drop box, located outside the atrium of the county building on Carey Avenue, between 19th and 20th St.

· If mailing the ballot, include first class postage and mail it by Aug. 7 to ensure it arrives prior to the Aug. 18 deadline.

· If you received an absentee ballot and decide later to vote in person, you must surrender your ballot at the Clerk’s office before voting in the atrium or turn it in at a polling place on election day.

For more information on registration and voting, visit https://elections.laramiecountyclerk.com/ or call the Clerk’s election office 307-633-4242.

LARAMIE COUNTY REGISTRATION & VOTING STATS:

Registered voters as of July 9, 2020: 35,572

2020 Primary Election Absentee Ballots Requested (Jan. 1 through July 9): 9495

Primary Election Absentee Ballots Mailed as of July 9: 9269

Voters casting ballots early as of July 9: 207 (average of 41 voters per day for first 5 days)

2016 Primary Election: 1327 absentee ballots mailed; 2018 Primary Election: 1922 absentee ballots mailed

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