A Brief Civics Lesson in Delegate Selection
The Republican National Committee has two jobs. First is to hold a convention, which nominates a presidential candidate. The second is to see to the election of that nominee. So: how does the Wyoming Republican Party select its delegates and alternates to that convention? No two states do it exactly the same way.
A delegate is entitled to vote and otherwise participate in the convention. If the delegate cannot do so, an alternate steps in. The RNC sets the size of each delegation, using a formula that rewards state parties for electing Republicans. In 2016, Wyoming is entitled to 29 delegates and 26 alternates.
Wyoming’s Delegate Selection Process
In all states, three delegates are automatic, the state party Chairman, the Republican National Committeewoman, and the Republican National Committeeman. They do not get any alternates.
County conventions (March 12) select another 12 delegates and their 12 alternates. In most cases, a county convention will elect either a delegate or an alternate to the Republican National Convention. For this purpose, the state’s 23 counties are divided into twelve delegate districts (with the county electing the delegate emphasized): (1) Natrona-Albany; (2) Carbon-Sweetwater; (3) Lincoln-Uinta; (4) Teton-Sublette; (5) Park-Fremont; (6) Hot Springs-Washakie; (7) Sheridan-Big Horn; (8) Campbell-Johnson; (9) Crook-Weston; (10) Converse-Niobrara; (11) Platte-Goshen; and (12) Laramie. Laramie County, being its own district, elects one of each.
The remaining delegates and alternates, if any, are selected at the state convention. Wyoming is entitled to 29 delegates. We have accounted for 15 of those, leaving 14 to elect at the state convention. The state convention will also elect 14 alternates.
Delegates and alternates are elected from one big slate, so those voting at the convention get to vote for up to 28 people. The top 14 are the delegates. The bottom 14 are the alternates. These are promoted to delegates in the order of their vote count.
So Who Elects These People?
The Chairman is elected to a two year term by the State Central Committee in the spring of odd numbered years. The National Committeeman and National Committeewoman are elected to four year terms at the state convention of presidential election years.
Delegates to the state convention are elected by the county conventions.
Delegates to the county convention are elected by precinct caucuses in their respective counties.
Any person registered to vote Republican as of the call for precinct caucuses in a given precinct may vote in that precinct’s caucus.
The Wyoming delegate selection process is governed by the Bylaws of the Republican Party of Wyoming, Wyoming Statute Title 22, and the Republican National Committee Rules.