Wyoming is one of the states that have open primaries that allow anyone to vote in a Republican Primary – even Democrats. There’s no party registration, you simply request the ballot of your choice on Primary Election Day, this means Democrats could renominate RINO renegade Rep. Liz Cheney by voting in the Republican Primary.
Fortunately, Wyoming’s principled limited government constitutional conservative Republican state Sen. Bo Biteman has introduced a bill to correct this incursion on the Republican Party’s constitutional right to free association. Senate File No. 97, if passed, would require voters to declare or change their party affiliation by May 12, the day the candidate filing period begins.
In a press release Biteman said the bill would hinder “crossover voting,” or members of one political party change party affiliation — perhaps on Election Day — to vote in the competing party’s primary election.
“This practice has been going on for far too long in our state,” said Senator Biteman. “It is not fair, it is not right, and it is harming the integrity of our party nomination process. This bill will go a long way toward ending this up to now legal, but unethical behavior, and restore confidence in our party nominating process. Party switching cancels out the vote of actual party members by those who wish to game the system and influence the outcome of their competing party’s nominating election,” Biteman said according to reporting by Jill Sears of KEVN.
The bill has picked-up some important support with former President Donald Trump and our good friend Club for Growth President David McIntosh both expressing support for the bill.
POLITICO reports behind the scenes, former President Trump and Mr. McIntosh have both personally called Wyoming’s Republican governor, Mark Gordon, to encourage him to back the bill, according to two people familiar with the calls.
The intensity of the push for the legislation peaked early last week, when Republicans began speculating that Gordon could announce his support for it in his State of the State address. But he did not. And as the week has gone on, Trump’s private lobbying became public.
“This critically important bill ensures that the voters in each party will separately choose their nominees for the General Election, which is how it should be!” Trump said in a statement. “It makes total sense that only Democrats vote in the Democrat primary and only Republicans vote in the Republican primary.”
POLITICO also reported the former president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., also called on Wyoming to “pay attention” to the bill and our good friend American Conservative Union president Matt Schlapp — a close Trump ally — tweeted on Thursday that his group might score the legislation as it considered its support of GOP lawmakers.
Much of the attention has focused on how the bill figures in the fight to oust renegade RINO Rep. Liz Cheney, given that last week, former President Trump held a fundraiser for Cheney’s opponent Harriet Hageman at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. He is expected to hold a rally in the state this spring.
But from our perspective this is bigger than the effort to get rid of one RINO.
The Republican Party should be the political home of the populist conservatives of the MAGA Movement, but it won’t be, indeed it can’t be if Democrats are allowed to vote in Republican primaries, giving them what is effectively a veto over who is to be the Republican nominee.
This “tails I win, heads you lose,” system of running elections is anathema to the ideals of parties competing in the marketplace of ideas that has undergirded our political system since the foundation of the Republic.
You can contact Governor Mark Gordon at (307) 777-7434 to urge him to support Senate File No. 97. Members of the Wyoming legislature can be contacted through this link, there are phone numbers and emails for every Member of the Wyoming House and Senate listed through the links in the lower right of the page. Call today and urge them to vote YES on Senate File No. 97, sponsored by Senator Bo Biteman.
Wyoming straw poll
January 6 commission
Wyoming GOP primary
Wyoming Republican State Central Committee
Gov. Mark Gordon