Thursday, February 2, 2023

Play

Palestinian advocates praise a new fact sheet on discrimination, Pennsylvania considers extending deadlines for abuse claims, and North Dakota's corporate farming debate affects landowners and tribes.

Play

Vice President Kamala Harris urges Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, the House begins the process to impeach the Homeland Security Secretary, and the Federal Reserve nudges interest rates up.

Play

Is bird flu, inflation or price gouging to blame for astronomical egg prices? Pregnancy can be life-changing or life-ending depending on where you live, and nine tribal schools are transforming their outdoor spaces into community gathering areas.

Wyoming Legislature Tackles Election Integrity

Play

Monday, January 23, 2023   

Election integrity has emerged as a top concern for Wyoming lawmakers gathered in Cheyenne, but it remains unclear what priorities will emerge from the new Legislature.

Jenn Lowe, executive director of the Equality State Policy Center, pointed to House Bill 55, which aimed to make elections more fair by shuffling up the order in which candidates appear on the general ballot. The bill cleared committee but died late last week in the House, ensuring majority-party candidates will continue to get top billing.

"Statistics show that you get a bump in votes just by being at the top," Lowe pointed out. "Small bumps, maybe 3%, but in some really close races, it can really make a difference."

House Bill 49 aimed to ensure no candidate wins an election with less than 50% of the vote, a key concern for voters, by allowing city and county governments to opt for instant runoff elections using ranked choice voting. Lowe noted redoing elections is expensive and produces significantly lower voter turnout. The measure was killed in committee on Friday.

Senate File 40 hopes to shed light on out-of-state money, which Lowe argued played an oversized role in the last election. The measure would hold federal and state political action committees to the same standards. Under current law, only state committees have to report how they are filling candidates' campaign coffers.

"This is a push to level the playing field," Lowe explained. "If you're going to come in and donate money to Wyoming legislative candidates, regardless if you're registered as a federal PAC or a state PAC, you're going to have to disclose who your funders are."

The measure will get its third reading on Tuesday. Lowe added despite some setbacks this session, her group will continue to press Wyoming voters and their representatives to stand up for what she sees as the true value of elections.

"An election should have as many people as eligible participating and engaging and learning about the process," Lowe contended. "Some of these policies really feel like they're trying to shut people out."

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


get more stories like this via email
Protestors at the University of California-Berkeley demonstrate in support of student groups that passed a bylaw pledging not to invite pro-Zionist speakers. (Palestine Legal)

Social Issues

Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …


Social Issues

Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …

Environment

New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …


While mortality rates for pregnant women have decreased globally, they continue to rise in the United States, with Black women three times more likely to die during pregnancy than white women. (Inez/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …

Health and Wellness

With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…

Environment

Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …

Social Issues

A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021