Sublette County voters weigh in on amendments

Robert Galbreath photo Election judges Nancy McGuire, left, and Tesa Manning, center, check Mitch Brantley in at the Wrangler Gym on Election Day, Nov. 8.

SUBLETTE COUNTY — The majority of Wyoming's voters were in favor of allowing local governments to invest taxpayer dollars in the stock market but against letting judges remain on the bench beyond age 70.
Constitutional Amendment A, allowing local government investment in equities, passed with 103,366 votes from Wyomingites, despite urging from the state's county treasurer’s association to vote against the change. 

Sublette County treasurer Emily Paravicini authored an Oct. 4 letter to the editor of the Pinedale Roundup on behalf of the association, asking area residents to "Vote against the ballot proposition which would allow local governments — cities, counties, schools, special districts, etc. — to invest your money in the stock market."

The letter explained, "It’s true that the State of Wyoming invests a portion of the Permanent Mineral Trust Fund in stocks and equities, wherein the first half of 2022 they experienced a loss of 8 percent. Of course, the stock market will eventually recover, and those losses will be regained as long as the funds remain invested in the stock market. The State of Wyoming can take this approach to seek higher yields because they are managing a Permanent Fund. The only way to mitigate the volatility of the stock market is to keep funds there long-term or permanently."

At the local level, voters appeared to heed Paravicini's warning. Sublette County reported 1,622 ballots cast in favor of Amendment A and 1,724 against it.

Constitutional Amendment B gave Wyomingites the ability to increase the mandatory retirement age for Wyoming Supreme Court justices and district court judges by five years, from age 70 to 75.
Instead, the general electors voted to maintain the status quo, with 115,812 ballots cast against proposition.

Most Sublette County voters were opposed to the age increase, with 2,157 residents voting against the amendment and 1,328 in favor of it.