Moorcroft Leader - The Voice of the Community Since 1909, Serving Moorcroft and Pine Haven, Wyoming

Celebrate suffrage: register to vote


December 5, 2019

As the 2020 elections begin to ramp up, the County Clerk’s Association of Wyoming (CCA) is encouraging women across the state to exercise their hard-won voting rights. Wyoming was not only the first U.S. territory to grant women the right to vote, 150 years ago this month, it was also the first place in the world to take that step.

Women in Wyoming headed to the polls a full quarter century before New Zealand became the first country to claim the same honor. It wouldn’t be until the next century that Australia followed suit and parts of Europe began to follow.

“On December 10, 1869, the Wyoming territorial legislature passed the first law in the United States permanently guaranteeing women the right to vote and hold office,” said Linda Fritz, Crook County Clerk and President of CCA.

“We enjoyed those rights 50 years before the 19th Amendment gave women the right to vote nationally. That’s something to celebrate.”

As Wyoming’s county clerks are the chief election officers for their counties, the CCA would like to mark the occasion by encouraging every citizen, whatever their gender, to make sure they will be able to exercise their voting rights.

“The first step in voting is registration and we urge all those who are eligible to register to visit their county or town clerk,” Fritz says.

During that first election in September 1870 when both genders headed to the polls, it’s believed that up to 1000 women exercised their new right. The 2020 Primary Election is scheduled to take place on August 18 and voting begins July 2 – this time around, considerably more of the female persuasion will have the opportunity to make their voices heard.

You can download a voter registration application from the County Clerk’s Office or call 283-1323 to have one mailed to your address. You can visit the County Clerk’s Office to register in person or even register at the polls on election day itself.

To register in person, you will need to provide a valid Wyoming driver’s license or, if you do not own one, a driver’s license from a different state; an ID card issued by a local, state or federal agency; an official school or military ID; or your U.S. passport.

If you do not have any of these available, you can bring two of the following options: certification of U.S. citizenship, certification of naturalization, draft record, voter registration card from another state or county, original or certified copy of a birth certificate, certification of birth abroad or any other form of identification issued by an official agency.

You will then be asked to sign your full legal name to the registration oath before the registry agent.

In order to register, says Fritz, you must be a resident of Wyoming, a U.S. citizen, 18 years of age by the date of the election and not adjudicated mentally incompetent. You must have your voting rights restored if you have been convicted of a felony.


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