Voter ID bill wins initial House approval


CASPER — A bill requiring citizens to present specific forms of photo identification when casting their ballots in elections passed its first vote in the Wyoming House of Representatives on Monday.

House Bill 75 requires voters to show specific kinds of photo identification before being able to vote in person.

Under the bill, voters would need to present one of the following forms of identification: Wyoming driver’s license or identification card, tribal identification card, valid U.S. passport, U.S. military card, or Medicare insurance card.

Voter fraud remains extremely rare, with only four convictions in Wyoming in the past several decades. But supporters of the bill, including Wyoming’s secretary of state, say it’s a “proactive” measure, needed to bolster voter confidence in the election process.

Lawmakers here have tried for several years to advance similar legislation.

“A voter ID bill is a step in keeping our election statutes tight and ensuring that there is an environment where it is more difficult to commit fraud,” said Rep. Chuck Gray, R-Casper, the bill’s sponsor. “It’s a best practices issue. And this bill also will ensure confidence in our elections.”

The bill has garnered over 55 co-sponsors in both the House and Senate.

The battle to impose more identification requirements at the polls has been gaining momentum in the Wyoming Statehouse, along with several other Republican-led Legislatures across the country. Many elected officials have been emboldened to institute stricter voter ID rules after former President Donald Trump’s unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 presidential election was fraudulent.

Opponents of the bill maintain it will only disenfranchise voters, especially marginalized voters, under the guise of election security by making voting in person less accessible.

The bill would not apply to voters who vote by absentee ballot after registering by mail or in person.

House Bill 75 still needs two more votes to clear the House, after which it would move to the Senate.