Gordon vetoes proof of residency

Jess Oaks
Posted 4/17/24

CHEYENNE – In a recent press release, Wyoming Secretary of State, Chuck Gray, announced his disapproval of the actions of Wyoming State Governor, Mark Gordon. In the release, Gray criticizes …

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Gordon vetoes proof of residency


CHEYENNE – In a recent press release, Wyoming Secretary of State, Chuck Gray, announced his disapproval of the actions of Wyoming State Governor, Mark Gordon. In the release, Gray criticizes the governor for his recent decision to veto amendments to Chapter Two of the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Election Procedures which would have required “acceptable” identification for proof of identity, including proof of Wyoming residency when registering to vote in the state. 

During a recent town hall meeting, Gray spoke briefly to Goshen County residents about his role in the election and his beliefs on election integrity. He stated the governor had until Friday, April 12 to make his decision on the rulemaking saying if you are registering to vote in the State of Wyoming, you need to prove you are a Wyomingite. 

“What it would say is if you have a Wyoming driver’s license, you’re fine,” Gray said during the meeting last week. “No matter if it has your P.O. box on it or whatever address is on it, as long as it’s a Wyoming address, your Wyoming license would still qualify to register to vote.”

The process would not have affected voters who are currently registered to vote in the state and not a moment shy of his deadline, Gordon issued a statement to Gray regarding the rulemaking.

“On March 28, 2024, I received notice from the management council recommending that I order the chapter two identification for voter registration proposed rule be amended or rescinded to address concerns raised in the legislative service offices February 21, 2024, rule review memo,” Gordon’s statement reads. “Under WY. Stat. Ann. 28-9-106, I must respond to the management council’s recommendations by April 12, 2024. Having reviewed the Chapter 2 proposed rule, I write to inform you of my determination that the proposed language in the attached rule packet is not within the scope of statutory authority delegated to the Secretary of State by law. Accordingly, I disapprove of this proposed rule and have informed the management council of my agreement with its recommendations,” Gordon’s letter to Gray continued. 

Gordon continues to emphasize that Wyoming elections are safe and according to him as evidenced by the widely accepted success of the 2022 election cycle. Continuing, Gordon mentions that the state election code (the act) functions well, noting countless hours of volunteers, election judges, canvassing boards, county clerks, town clerks, and numerous other offices.

“Wyoming’s constitution provides for the opportunity to vote, and the legislature has given primarily to the county clerks the responsibility and infrastructure to efficiently run elections as well as the tools to prevent voter fraud and deliver accurate results,” Gordon said in his letter to Gray.

“In order to ensure the integrity of voter registration data provided in these forms, county clerks have used the verification process described in Wyo. Stat. Ann. 22-3-104 through – 106, and -116 for years to investigate voter data and, according to the statutorily mandated process for appeals and provisional ballots, challenge or deny registration,” Gordon explained in the letter. 

“Wyoming elections should be decided by Wyomingites, NOT illegal immigrants,” Secretary of State Chuck Gray said in his release. “Governor Gordon’s veto makes it easier for illegal aliens and non-residents to illegally vote, which is deeply disturbing.”

Gordon further states the act provides “comprehensive framework” for how Wyomingites can register to vote and how election officials can investigate or challenge the voter’s qualifications. 

“Regardless, I agree with the foundational principle that only United States citizens who are Wyoming residents should be voting in our elections,” Gordon’s letter continued. “Just as we must ensure no eligible voter is wrongly disenfranchised, we must equally continue to ensure that no ineligible person can fraudulently misrepresent their residency or citizenship.”

Gray expressed his disagreement with Gordon by noting Wyoming already has had illegal aliens register to vote by mentioning county clerks in Campbell County canceled the voter registration of an illegal alien who illegally voted in the 2020 election.

“Every vote by an illegal alien disenfranchises the vote of Wyoming residents. These rules were a commonsense solution to stopping voter fraud in Wyoming,” Gray’s statement continued. “These rules undertook a thorough vetting process and received overwhelming support from the people of Wyoming during the public comment period. They should have been signed. I will continue to fight for election integrity measures to protect and improve our elections.”