Young WyoDem Elections + Absentee Balloting at 2020 Presidential Caucuses

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 24, 2019

 

CHEYENNE - In accordance with our Constitution, the Young Democrats of Wyoming Executive Committee are holding officer elections at the Wyoming Democratic Party State Reorganization Meeting at 10am on Saturday, April 27th at the University of Wyoming Extension Agricultural Learning Center (2011 Fairground Road) in Casper. Not only is this a great chance to hear from some of the most prominent, influential and progressive voices in the state, it's an opportunity to connect with other Young WyoDems, gain new skills and ideas through informative training and - most importantly - get fired up and ready to go for the elections in 2020! 

Unique to the Young WyoDems, all persons 14 - 35 years old (aka Young WyoDems-at-heart) are eligible for membership and voting rights regardless of criminal record or citizenship status; however, all persons eligible to vote in Wyoming must be a registered Democrat. Young WyoDems can vote in-person or by phone.  Learn more about the Young WyoDems elections here: www.youngwyodems.org/2019-elections

During the Saturday Reorganization Meeting, Democrats will vote to submit the 2020 Wyoming Delegate Selection Plan to the Democratic National Committee, Young WyoDems will advocate for an absentee balloting process. Chair Shayna Lonoaea-Alexander released the following statement: 

“In 2016, concern was raised about surrogate ballots and Democrats using them as an excuse not to attend caucus. The problem is not surrogate ballots; the problem is that not enough Democrats are participating in the process. A caucus largely mobilizes activist-level folks due to having to be in the room for the day and having conversations on why they’re voting for a candidate. This is a barrier to folks who can’t find a ride, childcare, need medical accommodations, or time off work that day.

Our goal should be a primary election system run by the state, and until we can get everyone on board, we should adapt our caucus to a more transparent, accessible, and open system. Regardless of the reason a Democrat can’t attend next year’s presidential caucus, they should still have a vote and voice in who we nominate for president.”

Media Contact: Shayna Lonoaea Alexander, shayna@wyodems.org
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Feedback to the Delegate Selection Plan

The Young Democrats of Wyoming believe every Democrat should have the right to vote in choosing our next Democratic Presidential Nominee in 2020. While the Wyoming Democratic Party’s Delegate Selection Plan utilizes surrogate ballots, we believe surrogate ballots do not go far enough to accommodate Democrats unable to attend or participate to their fullest extent on caucus day. 

At the 2018 Platform Convention, Caucus Reform ad-hoc committee suggestions were adopted by the body which included recommendations for absentee balloting and “vote and leave” a form of primary election-style voting. 
Caucus Reform Report: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1GDWvKHUVL8chkjyKQFEFdr_1qr3LB_4A/view?usp=sharing

We support the use of absentee ballots that have an optional form question on why a Democrat is unable to attend their caucus. 

We support the use of an absentee balloting process that allows for Democrats to vote via mail, online, or by phone modeling the Iowa Democratic Party’s Virtual Caucus Plan: https://iowademocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2019/02/Caucus-Updates-_-Virtual-Caucus.pdf

We understand the purpose of a presidential preference caucus is to engage Democratic neighbors in lively dialogue in-person and has its merits; however, we believe a primary election system run by the State of Wyoming is best suited to accommodate the interests and rights of all voters. 

We acknowledge such a primary election is unlikely to happen soon so it’s our goal to adapt our presidential preference caucus, to the best of the state party and county parties’ ability, to be as transparent and accessible as possible. 

We ask the Bylaws and Delegate Selection Plan Subcommittee and WDP State Central Committee to adopt changes to the drafted delegate selection plan for the use of absentee ballots and the recommendations put forth by the Caucus Reform ad-hoc committee.   

Shayna Lonoaea Alexander
Young WyoDems to Hold Platform Convention

LARAMIE, WY - On Saturday, April 28th, from 9am - 4:30pm, the Young Democrats of Wyoming (Young WyoDems) will host the 2018 Platform Convention. It will take place at the University of Wyoming Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center in Laramie. Registration for Young Democrats (between the ages of 14 - 35) is free, and participants can register at www.youngwyodems.org/convention. Democrats and observers older than 35 are encouraged to donate $35 to help cover convention expenses. Lunch will be provided and vegetarian options will be available. Traveling Young WyoDems can find accomodations at the Laramie Inn, 262 N 3rd St, Laramie, WY 82072.

 

The Young WyoDems are the youth-arm of the Wyoming Democratic Party and chartered with the Young Democrats of America. A year ago, the state chapter was revived and in accordance with our Constitution, that means gathering every two years to put together a platform - the ideas and beliefs that govern our organization as a whole. Young WyoDems are encouraged to submit amendments to the platform (youngwyodems.org/platform) and resolutions on Saturday.

 

Not only is this a great chance to hear from some of the most prominent, influential and progressive voices in the state, it's a wonderful opportunity to connect with other Young WyoDems, gain new skills and ideas through informative training and - most importantly - get fired up and ready to go for the elections in November!

 

Welcome Reception + YDW Awards

When: Friday, April 27th | 7pm - 9pm

Where: The Library Sport Grille & Brewery, 201 E Custer St., Laramie, WY 82070

Why: We’re hosting a reception to welcome all traveling and local Young WyoDems, where they can network and hear from Senate Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss and House Minority Whip Charles Pelkey. Young WyoDems will recognize young organizers for their advocacy and all schools that have organized a march, walk out or demonstration in honor of the Parkland shooting victims.

 

Platform Convention

When: Saturday, April 28th, 2018 | 9am - 4:30pm

Where: Berry Biodiversity Conservation Center at the University of Wyoming, Laramie

Shayna Lonoaea Alexander
Young Dems stand in solidarity with UW students protesting Prager

All Wyomingites should be able to lead happy, successful lives. By ensuring every generation has access to a quality education, we give our youth the tools to drive our economy forward. Wyoming is strongest when our workers are trained with the knowledge and ingenuity to perform at the highest levels. The Young Democrats of Wyoming believe everyone should have the opportunity to reach for that horizon and fulfill the American Dream.

That’s why we’re disappointed with the ASUW Student Government and University of Wyoming’s decision to partner with the Wyoming GOP, College Republicans, Turning Point USA, and PragerU to use student fee dollars for a speaker known for his divisive—often violent—rhetoric against women, LGBTQ people, people of faith, and working families. As Wyomingites, we pride ourselves on bucking trends and defining our own future, yet UW is following a disturbing national effort by conservatives to target universities in an attempt to turn us against our neighbors. We’re better than that.

We are committed to ensuring every student—no matter their race, faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, and ability—is treated with respect and fairness. This means spending student fee and University dollars wisely. It means ensuring students have health care, stable housing, and communities free of violence. It means enriching programming on civic engagement while speaking out against bigotry and other forms of intolerance permeating our political discourse. While freedom of speech and expression is a fundamental constitutional right, we must condemn any speech that creates a fertile climate for violence.

We, the Young Democrats of Wyoming, stand in solidarity with the UW students protesting this event. We know too well what it means to be silenced and shut out of the process. We have repeatedly tried to plan events at UW, only to be rebuffed by the administration in the name of non-partisanship. So, we ask: How can the Wyoming GOP sponsor this event without the same requirement? This double standard and right-wing partnership are symptoms of a system that needs fixing. We ask students across Wyoming to join us. We can’t do this without you.

Carrie Murthy