Polling places should be restored

Submitted by Janet Kelleher
Posted 9/10/20

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter addressing the residents of Park County who have been stripped of their polling locations.

It has always been my understanding that the county …

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Polling places should be restored

Posted

Dear Editor:

I am writing this letter addressing the residents of Park County who have been stripped of their polling locations.

It has always been my understanding that the county commissioners were voted in to represent the people. Well, the people have spoken regarding this issue and we are being ignored.

Before the primary election, the county clerk changed the polling locations for the communities of Clark, Wapiti, South Fork, Heart Mountain and Garland. She stated this was done to allow more social distancing and protect voters and polling judges.

This is just crazy, she now took small communities that had maybe five to 10 people voting at one time and sent them to a polling location up to 40 miles away that had maybe 25-30 people voting at one time and more polling officials then are needed in smaller locations. After driving 35 miles to vote, there were very few judges with masks on, and most voters did not have masks. I didn’t see much social distancing, either.

She also did not follow the legal format for changing these locations. Wyoming statute states that she was to bring it before the board of commissioners, and at that time it would be open to public comment. This was not done. When this was addressed at the commissioners’ meeting it was stated that the county attorney advised her that she was within her right to change them, with one of the commissioners backing her up on this claim. We later found out that this was not the case.

This change would require Clark residents to travel up to an hour each way over Mormon Hill in what could very well be icy, or snowy conditions, when they could go to the local recreation center and vote safely. There are a lot of older folks who are not comfortable driving in those conditions. The clerk stated that they should then vote by mail! It is the right of the people to vote in person and that is what most want to do.

It is time for the commissioners to listen to what the people who voted for them want and to uphold the law of Wyoming.

We the people want our polling locations restored.

Janet Kelleher

Clark

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