July 13, 2021 |
Research into redistricting done by a Wyoming Republican Party subcommittee produced evidence that the Laramie County clerk’s office maintained sloppy records over the last two elections on how many precinct representatives each of the two major parties should have been allotted.
The time period covered the 2018 and 2020 primary elections. Clerk Debra Lee has acknowledged “errors” were made. The Wyoming GOP party bosses say they were more than simple mistakes, and expressed “grave concerns” what they say about how the clerk is managing other elements of elections.
Joey Correnti is the Carbon County Republican Party Chairman. Correnti sits on the state GOP’s central committee where he chairs a subcommittee looking at how the 2020 census will affect redistricting across Wyoming.
Using an equation laid out in state statute, Correnti’s calculations for each county in the state, precinct by precinct, have turned up problems in only one county. It just happens to be the most populated county in Wyoming.
State law provides that the two major political parties will elect one committeeman and one committeewoman in every precinct for each 250 votes cast for the party’s candidate for U.S. Representative in the last general election.
The work to gather and tabulate the numbers is labor-intensive and time consuming. The Wyoming Secretary of State’s office declined to assist in Correnti’s effort, saying it did not have way to calculate the number of representatives each precinct should be allotted have been allotted in 2018 and 2020. So, Correnti developed a spreadsheet to determine the numbers based on the formula described in state law.
The GOP subcommittee recently shared the spreadsheets it developed for the county. The number crunching is impressive. The results show that in both 2018 and 2020, some precincts in Laramie County were allotted too many representatives while others were under-represented. Overall, both parties were overrepresented countywide in both primary years, but the allotments were out of whack at the precinct level. Some precincts had too many, others too few. Correnti explained why it matters.
According to the subcommittee’s final calculation, 24 allotment errors across the 30 precincts were identified in the 2018 election involving both Democrat and Republican precinct representatives. The number of mistakes doubled in the 2020 presidential election to 44.
Correnti described the situation in Laramie County as a “massive disregard” for election integrity. What the impact of the nuts-and-bolts, precinct level party politics on the outcomes of those elections is outside the scope of the research, he said.
The Wyoming Republican Party sent a letter to Laramie County Clerk Debra Lee expressing what it said was the central committee’s “grave concern over the questionable composition” of the formal proclamation, primary election ballots and as well as certified results of the 2018 and 2020 primary elections.
In a news release dated July 6th, the Laramie County clerk acknowledged that “errors were made by her office in the calculation of Republican and Democratic Committee people.”
In the news release, Clerk Lee said that she had met with the the chairs of the two major political parties in Laramie County to acknowledge the mistakes and to inform that measures will be put into place next year to confirm the accuracy of the calculations.
Correnti said that the issue amount to more than small errors. He said they are violations of state statute. Correnti added that his review of Carbon County did not find any mistakes.
Pictured above: File photo of Laramie County Courthouse.