Wyoming Secretary of State Ensures Low Voting Fraud Continues
Wyoming Secretary of State Chuck Gray is ensuring the already minimal-voting fraud stays that way. Grey initiated a data-sharing agreement with the Wyoming Department of Health and Vital Statistics Services that reduces the time between a voter’s death and that voter’s removal from Wyoming voter rolls.
The Secretary of State’s Office news release said mortality records previously took as many as four weeks to be processed and received, but will now be received in as little as three to seven days.
Stacey Harvey, elections staff at the Albany County Elections Office, said she appreciates Gray’s agreement and wishes it could be nationwide. While she can’t speak for all Wyoming counties, she said even now the receipt of death notices is pretty quick.
“The system is pretty quick. It usually notifies me within a week of someone’s death. We de-activate them immediately. I do research; I make sure it’s the actual deceased person. I find obituaries to make sure birthdays and other pertinent information are matching so we deactivate the right person.”
In Gray’s news release, he said, “Upon taking office, our administration began a comprehensive review of Wyoming’s voter rolls to reduce the opportunity for fraud. With respect to our office’s management and ingestion of death records, I am very proud of the work we have been able to accomplish and thankful to Vital Statistics Services for working with our office to address our concerns. Signing this agreement marks an important step toward improving Wyoming’s voter registration system, and I remain committed to continuing to work toward increasing transparency, security, and integrity in Wyoming’s elections.”
Former Secretary of State Ed Buchanan said last year he is concerned about Wyoming campaigns claiming that there is voter fraud in the state when there is no evidence of any impropriety. They are "playing on the fears of voters that is patently false," he said.
According to The Heritage Foundation, which is “A research and educational institution whose mission is to build and promote conservative public policies, based in Washington, D.C.,” there have been only three cases of voter fraud in Wyoming’s history.
Harvey said of the site, “It’s the one everyone uses. What they don’t cite, is that these cases were dealt with….anytime we’ve questioned anything, there’s been an explanation and we’ve dealt with it.”
Harvey said most cases of fraud aren’t intentional; many deal with rights restorations that people didn’t complete the process to actually have voting rights restored.
“Sometimes people will commit a crime in another state, or one when they’re younger, and they forget to go through the restoration process.”
“Our elections are safe in Wyoming. We live in a good square,” Harvey laughed.