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Tue Jan 15, 2019, 06:41 AM

Senate bills offer divergent views for future elections

Two bills proposed in the Wyoming Senate offer dramatically different visions for future Wyoming elections — with one seeking to restrict primary voting to the party faithful and the other seeking to sideline political parties and make primaries wide open.

Senate File 32 Change in political party affiliation is sponsored by Sen. Bo Biteman (R-Ranchester). The bill would bar voters from switching their parties after the first day candidates can file for primary elections. Voters would have to pick a party before they knew all the primary candidates — keeping them from voting in another party’s primary to block a candidate or advance another, Biteman said.

The bill answers conservative concerns that Democrats are switching parties to influence Republican primary elections by voting for moderates, Biteman said. “It should have been called the ‘stay in your lane bill’,” he said.

Senate Minority Floor Leader Chris Rothfuss (D-Laramie) has offered Senate File 65 Open ranked choice elections. The Democrat’s bill would create a ranked voting system and toss out partisan primaries entirely. Under the bill, candidates could still choose to affiliate with a political party, but voters would vote for whichever candidates they wish and would rank them in order. The two candidates who receive the most votes would move forward into the general election.

Read more: https://www.gillettenewsrecord.com/news/wyoming/article_88ca9f63-6bbc-5d4c-a472-f2db24fc584b.html

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