A bill that would call for runoff elections for primaries in which no candidate got a majority of the votes passed a Senate Committee on Thursday and is now headed to the Wyoming Senate.

Senate File 145 would apply to the five statewide elected offices--governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, and state superintendent.

It would also apply to legislative races and the state's federal offices, U.S. Senator and U.S. House. But it would not apply to local races, such as county commission or city council. The original bill would have taken effect next year for the 2022 elections.

The committee on Thursday took testimony from the Wyoming County Clerks Association, which expressed concerns about being able to organize an extra election next year, especially in view of the fact that legislative redistricting will take place next March.

Under the bill, Wyoming primary elections would be moved from August to May, and if any runoffs are needed, they would then be held in August. That would conceivably give clerks across the state less than two months to get ready for the primary election after the results of re-districting are known.

In response to those concerns, the bill was amended so that it would not take effect until 2023.

Concerns were also expressed that the bill would amount to an "unfunded mandate," with counties across the state having to find money to hold an extra round of elections at a time when local governments are already strapped for cash. In response to those concerns, a $1.5 million appropriation was added to the bill.

The measure then passed the Senate Corporations, Elections, and Political Subdivisions Committee on a 4-1 vote. Sen. Scott was the lone no vote in committee, with Senators Driskill, Nethercott, Case, and Boner voting in favor of the bill.

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