LEGISLATIVE UPDATE FEB 8, 2019

Our original updates were focused on only a handful that would directly affect our party, abortion law, or taxes new or increased. Below are updates on those bills remaining from that original list. Bills change quickly so we urge you to study them and directly contact your District Legislators and/or the bill’s sponsors with questions or concerns. 

 


HB0106 - Party affiliation changes.

Purpose:  Limit ‘party raiding’ by non-party members. Party nominations for representative candidates is currently done on the primary ballot.  The intent of the ‘raiding’ action is for one party to dominate the candidate nominating process of an opposing party.   

Background:

        Current law allows a voter to change parties 14 or more days before the primary (on/before Aug 7th), or on request of a of an absentee ballot (in 2018 between Jul 1st & Aug 20th) or at the polls the day of an election, either primary or general.

         The most recent raiding action, in the 2018 primary election cycle, resulted in an estimated 13,000 voters filing party switches in the last few weeks before the primary, affecting both state and local Rep v Dem races. Activist groups encouraged Democrats to switch to Republican to drive the primary ends. Unless addressed the party nomination by ballot process no longer allows the parties to select their own candidates.

Latest action:  Wed Feb 6th - This bill passed 3rd reading in the House, with amendments. 

         For the most current version, see https://www.wyoleg.gov/2019/Engross/HB0106.pdf/

Status:  The first version of the bill discouraged cross-over voting by requiring a voter to apply to switch parties by May 1st to vote in a primary  (Aug 21st) and by 30 days before a general election (Oct 8th). 

  

The amendments did away with the bill’s goal:

   -   pg 3.  22-5-214(a) says an elector may change party affiliation 14 days before a primary (about Aug 7th if election’s on the 21st) or at the polls the day of the primary or the general election or when requesting an absentee ballot.  In other words, the current law was amended back in.

   -  Pg 3.  22-5-214(b) says an elector may change party “from one major political party to another major political party” 14 days before the primary or at the polls the day of the general election.

The purpose of the last amendment isn’t clear, but the effect is to make it easier for anyone who switched to raid in the primary to switch back at the poll on general election day.

In addition, one amendment, pg 2.  22-1-102(a)(xxiii)(F)(IV), seems to remove record keeping of primary election party switches. 

Read the amended bill and contact your District Legislators or the bill sponsors with concerns or questions.

 

SF0160 - Change in political party affiliation-2. 

Purpose:  Limit ‘party raiding’ by non-party members. See HB0106 update (above).

Background:  See HB0106 update (above).

Latest actions:  Tues Feb 5th - bill passed 3rd reading in the Senate, with amendments. Thur Feb 7th - amended bill was introduced in the House.  For the most current version, see https://www.wyoleg.gov/2019/Engross/SF0160.pdf.

Status:  This bill affects the same sections of law as HB106, but is significantly different.

   - a voter would have to change party affiliation at least two weeks before the day absentee ballots come out, e.g. in 2018 before June 22nd.   See pg. 3 ln 14-18.   

   - most importantly, that party switch could happen only if the state party chairman made the request of the secretary of state to authorize party switching to that chairman’s party.

  - As in HB0106, an amendment on pg 2. Ln 10 seems to remove record keeping of primary election party switches. 

Read the amended bill and contact your District Legislators or the bill sponsors with concerns or questions.

 

HB0103 - Reporting of abortions. 

 

This bill passed the House and is now in the Senate. Read the amended bill and contact your District Legislators or the bill sponsors with concerns or questions. 

https://www.wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2019/HB0103


The Wyoming Republican Party