Voting is a sacred right 

Submitted by Phyllis Roseberry
Posted 6/11/24

Dear editor:

Voting is a fundamental right and responsibility enshrined in our Constitution.  The 15th Amendment states:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall …

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Voting is a sacred right 


Dear editor:

Voting is a fundamental right and responsibility enshrined in our Constitution.  The 15th Amendment states:

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any state on account of race, color or previous condition of servitude.”

And the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote (1920!)

Voter suppression has occurred frequently in our country’s past. Laws known as Jim Crow laws which included poll taxes and extensive literacy tests were common, especially in the South. The 1965 Voting Rights Act made these illegal. In 2013, the Supreme Court removed key protections of this act. Since then, more than 361 bills that restrict voting access have been introduced in 47 states. Such bills include purging eligible voters from the rolls. In 1998, African Americans accounted for 88% of those removed from Florida’s voter rolls although they were only about 11% of Florida’s voters. In 2017, more than 8% of registered Georgia voters were removed. It was found to be based on flawed data. In North Carolina, the court struck down a law removing the first week of early voting.  The court held that the GOP passed the law because most African Americans voted that week. There are many other examples of laws restricting voting rights targeting minorities and the poor. 

The Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol was a violent attempt to suppress the legitimate votes of thousands of American citizens. Court cases and sentencing are ongoing for this illegal and violent action.  

Wyoming is not immune from recent voter suppression efforts. Our new Secretary of State Chuck Gray, and the Legislature have pushed to raise barriers to vote in the name of election security or belief in “the big lie” that Donald Trump won in 2020. They cite extensive voter fraud as rationale for Trump’s loss. The conservative Heritage Foundation has stated there have been only three cases of voter fraud in Wyoming since 1979! Previous Secretary of State Ed Buchanan, has said repeatedly Wyoming elections are safe and secure.  

Some of the requirements added by the Legislature and Gray include:

— reducing the number of early voting days from 45 to 28

— requiring voters to register their party affiliation on May 15, one day before candidate filing period begins

— if you didn’t vote in the 2022 general election, you have been purged from the rolls (this is a 50-year-old law) 

— ID must be presented to get a mail-in ballot even though you are registered to vote

— an ID must be presented to vote. After, 2029, only photo IDs are accepted. For the 40 years I have lived in Wyoming, no ID was required to vote. The poll worker just checked you off the rolls when you came to vote

— there are no drop boxes. Absentee ballots must be mailed or delivered to the county clerk’s office

— independent voters cannot vote in a primary unlike other states that have open or ranked choice voting

All these requirements make it more difficult to vote for Native people, people with multiple jobs, handicapped and elderly people.

Wyoming FREE, a nonpartisan organization dedicated to fair, reliable and ethical elections, states that Wyoming was one of 11 states in 2023-2024 that further restricted voting access, sinking its ratings to the bottom five in the nation on the cost of voting index which assesses registration deadlines and restrictions as well as registration drive initiatives, voter inconvenience, voter ID requirements, and voting days, times and access to absentee voting.

As a fundamental right in this country and the primary way to reach our constitutional goal of a forming a government for ALL the people, voting must be made more accessible and easier. Fraud is basically nonexistent here. It should not be used as an excuse to make voting harder.  

We are Wyoming Rising , a 501(c)4 nonpartisan organization who works on quality education for all, affordable health care, civil rights, the environment and citizen participation in government. Join us! Visit

Phyllis Roseberry

Chair, Wyoming Rising