Election write-ins make noise but don’t prevail

By: 
Alexis Barker, NLJ News Editor

A total of 2,845 ballots were cast in the 2022 general election in Weston County, and the results were certified on Nov. 10, two days after the election, according to Weston County Clerk Becky Hadlock. She noted that a total of 745 absentee ballots were requested in the county before the election. 

Despite facing active write-in campaigns, both Sen. Ogden Driskill, R-Devils Tower, and Rep. Allen Slagle, R-Newcastle, held on to their primary wins to cruise through the general election. 

With voters in the three counties of Campbell, Crook and Weston, a total of 6,364 total ballots were cast in Senate District 1. Driskill received 4,785 votes, while 22% of the votes, or 1,579, were cast for a write-in campaign, according to the Wyoming secretary of state’s website. 

In Slagle’s inaugural general election, he secured 2,927 votes across the three voting counties of Goshen, Niobrara and Weston. A total of 3,431 votes were cast in House District 2, and the secretary of state’s website reports that 504 of those ballots were cast for write-in candidates, representing 13% of the total votes cast. 

Weston County’s other representative, Chip Neiman, R-Hulett, and senator, Cheri Steinmetz, R-Lingle, easily secured their seats with 3,875 votes for Neiman and 6,352 for Steinmetz in their respective districts. 

In addition to several county, city and school district races, Weston County voters were also asked whether or not two different judges should be retained. 

Sixth Judicial District Judge Stuart S. Healy III will continue to serve the community with 1,845 votes for retention and 634 against. Sixth Judicial District Circuit Court Judge Paul S. Phillips also received enough votes to continue his work, with 1,825 votes for retention and 629 against. 

Two constitutional amendments were voted on by electors across the state. Amendment A, allowing local governments to invest in equities, passed with 103,366 votes, with 1,373 of those votes coming from Weston County. Voting against the amendment were 1,263 locals and 79,697 residents across the state. 

Amendment B, increasing the retirement age of state supreme court justices and district judges, went down to defeat with 115,812 Wyomingites voting against the amendment, 1,676 of those from Weston County. Statewide, 74,633 voters wanted to increase the retirement age, and 1,037 of those votes were from Weston County. 

Most newly elected officials in Weston County and across the state will take their seats in January. 

For a full list of local election results — including school board and city council results from both Newcastle and Upton — read “New members to join school board” on page 1 of the Nov. 10 edition of the News Letter Journal. You can also check out the story for free online at newslj.com. 

 

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