Another Republican-led state has passed a new law aimed at enhancing the integrity of its elections as a nationwide battle on the issue continues to rage.
GOP Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon signed the measure into law on Tuesday, the Washington Examiner reported, meaning the state’s voters will be required to show a valid form of identification at the polls effective in July.
“Secure, fair, and valid”
The debate in Wyoming followed a familiar narrative as Democrats argued that voter ID laws serve to disenfranchise voters and Republicans asserting that such mandates only help prevent fraud. For his part, state Rep. Chuck Gray, also a Republican, was vocal in his support of the latest effort.
“It is a necessary function of our republic to provide our citizens with confidence that our elections are secure, fair, and valid,” he said, according to the Examiner. “I am proud that we were able to meet this important milestone for Wyoming.”
Democrats across the state and beyond have railed against this and other voter reform bills pushed by Republicans, with some even comparing voter ID requirements to racist Jim Crow-era laws.
State Rep. Karlee Provenza, a Democrat, stuck to partisan themes by calling the new law a “solution for a problem that doesn’t exist,” according to Oil City News.
Despite the stark rhetoric of her party, however, polling data suggests that a majority of Americans believe voters should be required to show their identification before casting a ballot. One recent survey found that 73% of voters overall — and more than two-thirds of Black voters — support the idea.
“All of the woke companies”
GOP state Rep. Dan Zwonitzer countered the “voter suppression” theme by noting that the new law allows for different forms of documentation, including student ID, Medicare cards, and tribal ID, thus eliminating the cost of obtaining a state-issued ID for the purpose of voting.
Prior to the latest measure, Wyoming voters were required to show ID to register but not to vote. The new law does not impact absentee voting.
This law is the product of roughly two decades of debate, with the ongoing national conversation on the issue apparently serving as the impetus for its ultimate passage.
Wyoming lawmakers advanced the measure on the heels of voter reform initiatives passed in Georgia and Texas, which led to widespread criticism by progressive politicians, pundits, and even some private-sector executives.
Former President Donald Trump recently issued a clear denunciation of corporations that have waded into the political fray, encouraging his supporters in a statement on Tuesday to boycott “all of the woke companies that don’t want Voter I.D., and Free and Fair Elections,” as Axios reported.