The Latest on the general election in Wyoming (all times local):
Republican Mark Gordon has defeated Democrat Mary Throne in the Wyoming governor’s race.
Gordon succeeds Republican Gov. Matt Mead, who is term-limited after serving two terms.
Gordon is a rancher and businessman from Buffalo who has been state treasurer since 2012. He promises a conservative approach to issues including a budget shortfall stemming from less revenue from coal, oil and natural gas extraction.
Gordon says Wyoming shouldn’t focus solely on budget cuts nor tax increases to fix the problem but should take a variety of approaches.
Gordon’s election marks the first time Wyoming’s governor’s office changes hands without changing parties since Democrat Mike Sullivan’s election in 1986.
Throne is an energy industry attorney and former Wyoming House minority leader from Cheyenne. She campaigned on diversifying Wyoming’s economy and finding new sources of revenue.
Republican John Barrasso has won a second full term by defeating Democrat Gary Trauner in Wyoming’s Senate race.
The race was a referendum on President Donald Trump in the state. Barrasso argued that less federal regulation and federal income tax cuts enacted under Trump are helping Wyoming’s economy.
Voters didn’t buy Trauner’s argument that people in Wyoming still struggle with low wages and the Trump administration is doing more harm than good.
Barrasso spent over $3 million on his campaign, six times more than Trauner’s $500,000. Barrasso raised $5.5 million to Trauner’s $800,000.
Legislation recently introduced by Barrasso includes a bill to end federal tax credits for electric vehicles.
At least a few voters in Cheyenne are voting for both Democrats and Republicans in major races.
Some say President Donald Trump is affecting their decisions.
Trudy Soland says she’s usually conservative but disillusioned by Trump. She voted for Democrat Gary Trauner for U.S. Senate but Republican Mark Gordon for governor.
Jeanne McIlquham says she’s “definitely a fan” of Trump and did the opposite, voting for Republican incumbent John Barrasso for Senate and Democrat Mary Throne for governor.
Others voted for one party or the other. Chet Burton says his investments have done better under Trump than during all of Barack Obama’s eight years in office. Burton voted only for Republicans.
Karen Parson says she’s a staunch Democrat who is bothered by Trump’s policies on immigration. She voted strictly for Democrats.
Some county clerks around Wyoming are reporting that turnout for this election seems a bit heavier than normal for a non-presidential election year.
Wyoming voters are choosing the state’s next governor to replace term-limited incumbent Matt Mead, along with the four other statewide elected offices as well as contested races for U.S. Senate and House seats.
Natrona County deputy clerk Chris Lindsey says voting has been busier than normal in her county.
Sweetwater County election officials are reporting a decent 36 percent turnout through midafternoon.
The Sheridan County clerk’s office has been busy addressing last-minute questions on where people should vote.
County clerks say the voting seems to be going smoothly with no major problems or issues arising during the day.
More than 61,000 Wyoming residents voted in the election before the polls even opened.
The Secretary of State’s Office reports that 61,073 absentee ballots were cast throughout Wyoming either in-person or by mail leading up to Tuesday’s election.
Agency spokesman Will Dinneen says about 64,700 absentee ballots were sent out by Wyoming’s county clerks statewide.
Laramie County had the most absentee and in-person voting in the state with about 12,100.
Natrona County was second with nearly 6,900, followed by Teton County with just over 6,100 and Albany County with more than 5,200.
The Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office reports no issues with the security of Tuesday’s election.
Office spokesman Will Dinneen says the agency is ready to respond to any problems that might occur but so far county clerks around the state are prepared to handle most anything that comes up.
Wyoming’s voting system is not connected to the internet and thus cannot be hacked or subject to cyber threats.
In addition, the state has various measures to ensure a secure election, including each election judge is empowered under Wyoming law to challenge any voter suspected of misrepresenting themselves at the polls and each polling place reconciles the number of votes cast to guarantee that the number of people who checked into the polling place matches the number of ballots cast.
Well over 50 percent of Wyoming’s state legislative seats up for election Tuesday are uncontested.
Nationally, the average number of uncontested races for seats in state legislatures is close to 40 percent.
University of Wyoming professor Jim King tells KUWR in Laramie that’s pretty typical of Wyoming. In a state dominated by the Republican Party, there are often no Democratic opponents.
Of the 15 Wyoming Senate races nine are uncontested, along with 33 of the 60 Wyoming House races. In addition, the majority of primary races for the state Legislature were also uncontested.
Boise State University political scientist Gary Moncrief says a lack of competition can limit voters’ ability to hold politicians accountable and can have consequences for future policymaking
The polls are open in Wyoming for the 2018 General Election.
Wyoming residents are being asked to choose a new governor. Democrat Mary Throne and Republican Mark Gordon are the two main contenders.
Democrat Gary Trauner is seeking to unseat U.S. Sen. John Barrasso while environmental consultant Greg Hunter is challenging Republican U.S. Rep. Liz Cheney. Both Barrasso and Cheney are seeking their second election victories for their seats.
Voter registration figures show especially tough odds for Democrats this year. Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by well over 4-1 in the state.
Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.
The National Weather Service is calling for scattered snow showers across much of the state Tuesday, with snow accumulating at higher elevations.
Source: The Associated Press