Wyoming Democratic caucus turnout more than doubles 2016

A 2020 Wyoming Democratic caucuses ballot in Mills, Wyo. on Monday, March 9, 2020.
A 2020 Wyoming Democratic caucuses ballot in Mills, Wyo. on Monday, March 9, 2020.(KCWY)
Published: Apr. 17, 2020 at 8:21 PM CDT
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Friday is the last day the Wyoming Democratic Party is accepting caucus ballots, meaning the party must receive all mailed-in ballots by the end of the day.

Though the party won’t release results until Sunday, the turnout more than doubled the 2016 caucus according to Wyoming Democratic Party Communications Director Nina Hebert.

She said, as of Wednesday, the party had already received more than 15,000 returned ballots. Just over 7,000 people caucused four years prior.

“A big reason we were able to do that is because from the very start we instituted a very robust mail-in program where we automatically sent ballots to every registered Democrat in Wyoming and included postage prepaid return envelopes,” Hebert said.

The increased turnout comes despite major changes before and after ballots went out.

For the first time, the party mailed ballots to every registered Democrat in the state. Originally, caucusers could either mail their ballots back or drop them off in person at their county’s caucus site on either March 28 or April 4, which was the original caucus day. It also used ranked-choice voting for the first time.

“We began working backwards from how can we make it easy for people to vote and built the logistics around that,” Hebert said. “And that is the biggest factor that allowed us to have that double increase over what we saw in 2016.”

The party had to cancel the in-person portion of the caucus due to COVID-19. To compensate, it decided to extend the deadline to receive mail-in ballots to Friday.