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Making All Votes Count In Wyoming

The ACLU of Wyoming is advising residents to bring documentation of their citizenship to the polls on Tuesday.

Residents who received letters questioning their citizenship status are encouraged to bring official identification or naturalization papers to polls in case they were removed from voter lists. Sabrina King, policy director at the ACLU, said no one should be blocked from voting because of an unproven suspicion.

“Any correspondence that comes out that might make people afraid to vote, or would maybe send the message that you're not welcomed to vote here, is a message that we don't want to be sending to voters,” King said.

She said the agency headed by Ed Murray sent county clerks a list of registered voters whose citizenship they questioned. Even though some of the voters' status was on file, King says many received letters asking them to confirm their citizenship before they would be allowed to vote. The Secretary of State's office said their efforts to uphold the law would actually help ensure voters don't experience barriers at the polls.

King notes Wyoming has a strong history of open elections–it was the first state to allow women to vote–and typically has a higher turnout than other states. But she said since local races are frequently determined by a handful of votes, it's important to make sure everyone has a chance to cast a ballot

"That is what we are here to do as voters, is to ensure that our government is providing the best services to everyone,” King said. “And that is all of our citizens, whether they were recently naturalized or a fifth-generation rancher."