More than paper ballots

There is a cynical and misguided effort afoot by the Sheridan County Republican Party to pressure the Sheridan County Clerk and new Elections Director to return to the antiquated and inefficient hand counting of paper ballots.

I have been an Election Judge in two Wyoming Counties. I have been a major party officer in the pre-election inspection and certification of election equipment for some years. I have been a member of a county election Canvas Board that audits and certifies election results to the Secretary of State three days after the polls closed with our current paper ballots and tabulating machines.  

As a Wyoming voter, I encountered a County Clerk who denied my application for an absentee ballot when I was a driller and foreman working out of that county from a man camp in the 1980s. That experience compelled me to volunteer to participate in elections to ensure every qualified citizen had access to the ballot and the opportunity to vote.

Reforms to the Election Code in Wyoming in the 1990s and work by the Wyoming Clerks Association and Secretaries of State up to 2022 made Wyoming elections a model for America. The system is not perfect. Mistakes occur in polling places, the Clerk’s office, and election night. However, there is oversight and accountability at each step towards certification that is overseen by the counties, the major parties, and the Secretary of State in certifications of elections. We cannot afford a representative democracy that returns to an unsecured paper ballot-only system with hand counting. Our County GOP seemingly loathes and despises many of its representatives and registered voters when it is neurons and tricky eyes versus scanners and bytes. Sorry, but in my experience as a voter, Election Judge and canvasser, bytes and the paper record win. 

s/Rob Davidson