Natrona County Ready For Primary Election
It's just about all over but for the voting on Tuesday.
The Natrona County Clerk's Office is in the final stages for the primary election when voters cast ballots to nominate their parties' candidates for the general election Nov. 6, Clerk Renea Vitto said Friday.
A lot of Natrona County's 33,000 registered eligible voters couldn't or wouldn't make it to the polls and voted early.
Absentee voting, which ends Monday, has been especially strong, Vitto said. "For a mid-term, nonpresidential election, it's going really well," she said.
She attributed that to the race for governor because the seat is open, the first time in eight years, she said. "There's a lot of candidates, a lot of excitement."
Besides the contested races for governor and some of the other statewide elected officials, a lot of candidates are vying for county positions, Vitto said. Some precincts have a lot of committeemen and committeewomen candidates, too.
Her office has seen at least an 8 percent increase in absentee voting compared to the 2014 primary, and she anticipates that growing to 12 percent by Monday afternoon when absentee voting ends.
As of Friday, her office had received about 3,580 ballots as of Thursday, and about 870 were still in the mail, she said.
The voting equipment has been delivered to the polling places, Vitto said.
On Sunday, her office will set up the machines, computers, booths and other equipment at the Restoration Church, 400 S. Walsh Drive, which is one of the two major consolidated polling places first set up two years ago.
On Monday, office staff will do the same at the Industrial Building at the Natrona County Fairgrounds, she said.
At 6 a.m. Tuesday, the approximately 230 poll workers will arrive at their polling places to assemble their machines and check them, Vitto said.
Two years ago, Vitto decided to consolidate 14 polling places at the Industrial Building and six at Restoration Church. Those places were at 16 schools, some of which have closed since then. Vitto made that decision because of complaints about problems at school polling places such as parking, access for the handicapped, tightened school security and construction.
The decision was controversial because people no longer had their neighborhood polling places. But voting went smoothly and efficiently at the consolidated polls.
However, the inability to use the former Roosevelt High School in north Casper upset many in that neighborhood because residents didn't have transportation to the Industrial Building at the Fairgrounds.
That's changed, now that the former school is now owned by the Casper Housing Authority.
Vitto offered a few reminders and tips:
- Wyoming is a closed primary state. Anyone not affiliated with a party living outside the municipalities will not have a ballot because there is no one to vote for. Unaffiliated voters will be able to change their party affiliation at the polls to be able to vote for for their party's nominees for the statewide elected officials -- Governor, Secretary of State, Treasurer, Auditor, Superintendent of Public Instruction -- and county officials.
- You can change party affiliation, name, and address at the polls. You don't need any identification to do so.
- If you are a new voter, you need identification. A Wyoming driver's license is ideal.
- If you are a new voter and new to the state, you need that state's driver's license and the last four digits of your Social Security number. Other acceptable identification includes a birth certificate, Social Security card, or military identification.
- To find your polling place, visit Natrona County's election website, click on the "voter information" link, then "polling places/where do I vote," and enter your address.
- For more information, call the Elections Office at (307) 235-9217.
- Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.