County sets town halls to gather opinions on possible voting changes

Jan 3, 2018 By Daniel Bendtsen, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Commission and Clerk Julie Freese plan to hold town hall meetings over the coming weeks, with the future of local elections the prime focus.

With a growing shortage of election judges and the county's budget as tight as ever, Freese feels the conventional voting system will become unsustainable -- especially without extra funding out of Cheyenne.

Voting by mail?

Legislators have pushed back against attempts to convert to all mail-ballot elections, and Freese hopes to field ideas from her constituents at the meetings concerning how elections in the county should be held.

Possible cost-saving measures could include precincts consolidation or "voting centers," a method already approved by the Legislature that has been adopted in other Wyoming counties.

Conceivably, individual counties could switch to mail-ballot elections, though the move would still require legislative approval.

"Every county could be different," Freese said.

Sales tax option

At the meetings, Fremont County commissioners also plan to inform constituents about the use of 1 percent optional sales tax funds and gauge feedback on that infrastructure spending.

The meetings are set to be held at the following times and dates:

- 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, at the Shoshoni Senior Citizens Center, 214 E. Second St. in Shoshoni

- 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 18, at the Frank B. Wise Center, 3 Ethete Road in Fort Washakie

- 5-6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 25, at the Riverton Branch Library, 1330 W. Park Ave. in Riverton

- 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, in the Fremont County Commission chambers at the Fremont County Courthouse, 450 N. Second St. in Lander

For more information call 332-2405.

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