Astate legislative committee voted Monday to pursue two bills that would significantly change the way Wyoming’s statewide elections are run as soon as next year.
One bill would create a ranked-choice system. The other would institute an open primary.
The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivision voted to draft the bills after initially discussing legislation that would require a runoff if one candidate did not receive a certain portion of the vote. But doubts about the feasibility of implementing that approach by next year’s election led lawmakers to look elsewhere.
The effort to change Wyoming’s primary elections, which has been talked about for years, is gaining traction due to the increased desire to unseat Rep. Liz Cheney and the size of the field in the last gubernatorial election. During the 2018 election, for example, Gov. Mark Gordon received less than 50% of the vote but won after several far-right candidates split the electorate. Cheney’s critics worry about a similar result in next year’s GOP House primary, which already features nine candidates.