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Wyoming Voids 28% Of Registered Voters In Mandatory Purge

A man enters a polling place on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, in Cheyenne, Wyoming. In-person voting for the midterm elections began Friday in Minnesota, South Dakota, Virginia and Wyoming in a landscape that has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic drove a shift to mail balloting in the 2020 presidential contest. (AP Photo/Mead Gruver)

Thousands of Wyoming residents could be surprised on Election Day when they show up to cast a ballot only to discover they’re no longer registered to vote.

There are currently about 83,500 fewer registered voters in the state than at the end of 2022, a roughly 28% drop, according to data released Wednesday by the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office.

The sizable dip follows a mandatory voter purge that was likely magnified by a major shift in voter turnout between the 2020 and 2022 elections.

Wyoming law has long required county clerks to purge voter rolls each February, a process that involves removing voters who did not cast a ballot in the most recent election. So it’s not unusual for voter rolls to fluctuate. And, of course, some of that purge inevitably includes voters who have died or moved away.

Still, local election officials and nonprofit organizations are hoping to inform voters ahead of time to avoid frustration or having to turn them away at the polls.

“Our concern is simply people not realizing that they’re no longer registered and not bringing with them the appropriate materials to get re-registered, because you can register at the polls,” Tom Lacock with AARP told WyoFile.

While a Wyoming driver’s license or ID card, a United States passport, a tribal ID card, a U.S. military card and some student IDs would be sufficient identification to register and to vote, other forms of identification would not.

A Medicare or Medicaid insurance card, or a Wyoming concealed firearm permit, for example, would not allow someone to register to vote, but are acceptable IDs for already registered voters to cast a ballot.

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