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