CHEYENNE — The Wyoming Democratic Party has announced changes to its caucus method ahead of the 2020 presidential primary. These changes include introducing ranked-choice voting as well as additional methods for participating in the county-level caucuses.
"For as long as anyone can remember, the Wyoming Democratic Party has been holding traditional caucuses during presidential election years. Democrats from across the state met in their respective counties and voice their strong support for Democratic presidential candidates. These events are crowded, rowdy, and loud. And they're a whole lot of fun — but they can make it hard for every WyoDem to participate," State Chairman Joe M. Barbuto said in a press release.
"In 2020, Wyoming’s Democrats will still have that opportunity, but we made some changes to ensure we hear every Democratic voice from across the Equality State.”
The Wyoming Democratic Party will host information and training sessions in the coming weeks. Those sessions, as well as local early vote stations and caucus locations will be listed at www.wyodems.org/2020caucus.
“Before ranked-choice voting, mail-in ballots offered voters only one choice. If their chosen candidate didn't reach the 15% threshold, they were out of luck -- they couldn't cast a second-round ballot in the same way those caucusing in-person could. With ranked-choice voting, if the candidate they ranked first did not reach the threshold, we'll know the order of their other choices. For this process to work -- for every vote to be counted -- it's vital that Democrats fully complete their ballots,” Barbuto said.
Voters must register as a Democrat prior to March 20, 2020, in order to participate in the caucus.
“2020 has the potential to be the largest Democratic caucus in Wyoming's history,” Barbuto said. “We are proud that in a year the GOP may not even hold a caucus, we're taking steps to expand voting. We believe that when more people vote we get better politics, better government, and a better state.”
2020 CAUCUS METHODS AND RANKED CHOICE VOTING
Democratic voters will have three methods of voting in the 2020 caucus.
1. Every registered Democrat in Wyoming will receive an official ballot in the mail. Voters can choose to fill out this ballot and return it in the provided, postage-paid envelope to be tabulated.
2. Voters may drop off their completed ballot or fill out a ballot in person on Saturday, March 28, 2020, at a location designated by their county Democratic Party.
3. Voters may attend their local county caucus on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Democratic voters can drop off their completed ballots to the caucus location or stay and vote alongside fellow county Democrats.
Each ballot cast will use the ranked-choice voting method.
Instead of choosing one candidate, voters rank each Democratic presidential candidate in order of preference.
According to a press release, ranked-choice voting ensures that every vote is counted, allowing voters the ability to fully participate in each round of voting, regardless of how (mail, drop-off, or in person) they participate.
For a look at a "sample ballot," see the story at rocketminer.com.