Wyoming Democrats postpone presidential vote count 3 weeks | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Wyoming Democrats postpone presidential vote count 3 weeks

March 23, 2020 - 3:43 PM

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The Wyoming Democratic Party will postpone its presidential selection vote count by three weeks and will only accept mail-in ballots to avoid disruptions from potential new coronavirus restrictions, state party spokeswoman Nina Hebert said Monday.

Participants might not be able to drop off ballots if Wyoming or any of its cities enacted a stay-at-home order like one announced Monday for Denver, Hebert said.

“We can't take a chance,” Hebert said. “We have to prepare for that possibility. It would be irresponsible not to prepare for that.”

This year's tally was to be a combination of caucusing, drop-off voting and mail voting but party officials previously cancelled in-person caucusing set for April 4 to avoid creating crowds that could spread coronavirus.

Now the party has cancelled drop-off voting as well.

To receive a mail-in ballot, voters must have registered as a Wyoming Democrat no later than last Friday. Eligible voters who haven't received a ballot already may request one on the state party website no later than March 31, according to party officials.

Ballots must be received by the Wyoming Democratic Party by April 17 to be counted.

To provide extra time in case a snowstorm interferes with mail delivery or ballot delivery for tabulation, ballots will be counted “on or about” April 25, Hebert said.

Even then, Hebert said, party officials were still trying to find out if their ballot courier, who might not be considered an essential business that may remain in operation, would be able to get the Wyoming ballots to the tabulation machines in Denver.

“We don't have any way to guarantee a courier service is going to be deemed essential,” Hebert said.

At least 26 people in Wyoming had tested positive for the coronavirus as of Monday.

The illness causes only mild or moderate symptoms for most people but can cause more severe problems for the elderly and people with existing conditions. The vast majority of those infected recover.

In other coronavirus news in Wyoming:

— The Wind River Reservation recorded its first coronavirus case. The unidentified person, whose condition wasn't disclosed, was tied to a cluster of cases among residents and staff at a Lander assisted-living centre, Wyoming Public Radio reports.

— Cheyenne-Laramie County Health ordered the closure of Frontier Mall, the city's largest indoor shopping mall, until at least Monday night to deter young people from gathering in numbers that could spread the virus, the Wyoming Tribune Eagle reports.

— Public school officials in Cheyenne said in a statement Monday they are preparing to offer distance education if schools must remain closed after April 3.

— Bridger-Teton and Shoshone national forests in western Wyoming were closing most public toilets until further notice due to coronavirus. Several portable toilets remained open in nearby Grand Teton National Park, the Jackson Hole News & Guide reports. The national park is substantially closed this time of year due to snow.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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