Be Involved in Our Republic

By Malcolm Ervin, Platte County Clerk
Posted 4/24/24

According to Wyoming law, the County Clerk serves as the chief election officer of the county. I have served in that role since 2019 and am proud to continue a long tradition of fair and honest …

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Be Involved in Our Republic


According to Wyoming law, the County Clerk serves as the chief election officer of the county. I have served in that role since 2019 and am proud to continue a long tradition of fair and honest election administration that this county has enjoyed since 1911. My predecessors were steadfast in their dedication to ensuring your vote counts and I assure you that this is my primary concern as County Clerk. I work alongside an incredible group of people to accomplish this goal, which includes five deputy clerks – Cary, Mel, Geneva, Dani and Cherish – and approximately 70 election judges.

As the 2024 election cycle approaches, I feel it is incumbent upon me to convey what our office is doing to ensure you can be proud of the electoral process in our county, and in our state. Over the next few months I will offer columns that address different aspects of election administration. Today, my goal is to provide information regarding how you can be involved in the electoral process. Therefore, this column will be divided into three parts: registering to vote; running for an office; and serving as an election judge.

Registering to Vote.

Voting is a fundamental right enshrined in the United States and Wyoming Constitutions, and it ensures government remains responsive to the people it is here to serve. Voting is the most critical role we have as citizens of our Republic. The Wyoming Constitution further ensures your right to cast a ballot in private, without fear of repercussion or retribution. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of letting your voice be heard by casting your vote at the Primary Election on August 20th and/or at the General Election on November 5th.

To qualify to vote, you must: be a citizen of the United States; be at least 18 years of age on the date of the election; be a bona fide resident of the county; not be adjudicated mentally incompetent; and not be a convicted felon (unless your voting rights have been restored). If you qualify, and wish to register, you can do so at the County Clerk’s Office, which is located in the County Courthouse, at any municipal clerk’s office, before a notarial officer, by mail, or at the polls on election day. Wyoming is only one of twenty states who allow voter registration on election day at the polls.

When you register, you will be required to provide proof of identification – most of the time this is accomplished by presenting a valid driver’s license or ID card. If you no longer need a driver’s license, or do not qualify for one, and would still like an ID card for the purposes of voting you can obtain one for free at your local driver services office.

Rest assured, if you do not have a Wyoming driver’s license or ID card there are other forms of identification that qualify as proof of identification. For a complete list of acceptable identification please contact the County Clerk’s Office. You may also have to provide proof of residence if you are challenged by an election judge.

If you are a currently registered voter and are accustomed to changing your party affiliation on election day, that is no longer allowed under recent changes to election law. This will particularly affect those who live outside of the towns of Wheatland, Guernsey and Chugwater and are affiliated with a minor political party, or not affiliated at all. For those folks, they will not receive a ballot on election day because there are no nonpartisan questions during the primary election – except for those who reside in the three towns previously mentioned. The last day for currently registered voters to switch their political affiliation is May 15. Between May 16th and August 20th currently registered voters will be unable to change their affiliation. To be clear, if you are affiliated with a minor political party, or unaffiliated, after May 15thyou will not receive a primary election ballot on August 20th if you live outside the town limits of Wheatland, Guernsey or Chugwater. However, all registered voters (regardless of party affiliation) will receive a general election ballot on November 5th.

This political party affiliation lockout only applies to currently registered voters. Those who are new registrations will be afforded the opportunity to affiliate with a political party of their choosing at any point, including on election day.

 If you have questions regarding voter registration, I encourage you to reach out to our office by calling (307)322-2315 or by visiting our website at

Running for Office.

            The presidency may be the most notable office up for election in 2024 but it is certainly not the only one. There are numerous elected offices available for you to serve in. Between May 16th and May 31st, candidates may file for either the Republican or Democratic nomination for one of the following offices: U.S. Senator; U.S. Representative; State Senator; State Representative; or County Commissioner.

The major party candidates who are nominated at the primary election will not be the only candidates to appear on the general election ballot, however. Minor party candidates will be nominated for those same seats during their conventions and Independent candidates may also be placed on the general election ballot after successfully petitioning the same. For more information about those procedures please reach out to our office.

May 16th through May 31st will also be the time to file if you are interested in serving as a councilmember for the towns of Wheatland, Guernsey or Chugwater, as well as mayor of Chugwater. These municipal positions are nonpartisan, which means all qualified electors regardless of political affiliation may run for, and vote for, those municipal positions.

            Lesser known to the general public are the precinct committeeman and precinct committeewomen positions for the Republican and Democratic parties. Filing for these positions is also between May 16 and May 31. But what do these positions do? These precinct positions basically act as the board of directors for the two major political parties. They decide the platform, bylaws and leadership of the county Republican and Democratic parties. Although those positions are rarely filled, they are of crucial importance and are the closest form of representation that we have. Therefore, if you desire to influence the official position of either major political party then I urge you to run as a committeeman or committeewoman in your precinct.

            Between August 7th and August 26th, candidates may file to fill a number of special district director positions. These include school board members and directors for crucial boards like fire districts, hospital district, resource conservation district, and senior citizen service district trustees. Board members for those districts deliver crucial services to our county and require sensible, tough individuals who are willing to ensure those services continue to be delivered. These positions are nonpartisan, which means no political affiliation of any kind is required to fill these positions.

            More information about the number of offices to be elected will be available in the Proclamation of Election, which will appear in this newspaper in a couple of weeks. That proclamation will also be available on our website, or in our office. If you want to know more about running for an office, please make sure to visit

Serving as an Election Judge.

            Each election cycle, the County Clerk appoints approximately 70 election judges who serve as frontline workers on Primary and General Election Day. These judges are crucial to ensuring each prospective voter is registered, accounted for in the appropriate polling place, receives the ballot they are entitled, and casts their ballot in private. Election judges must be of high moral quality and possess enough stamina to serve for approximately 13 hours on election day. Election judges must also be able to serve in these roles without bias to ensure those presenting to vote are afforded a fair opportunity to vote for their candidate of choice. Those interested will receive training approximately one month before each election. By the way, you do get paid for serving in this role!

            If you are interested in serving as an election judge, please notify the chairman of the political party you are affiliated with. Those chairmen must certify a list of judges to our offices by May 21st. If you are not affiliated with a political party, or are unsure who the chairman of your political party is, you can call our office to express your interest in serving in this important role. Election judges are the backbone of our electoral process and we could not deliver a successful election without them. As such, we hope you will consider serving as an election judge at your polling place!

What Is Next?

            As promised before, I will write a number of columns that will provide you with timely information. My next column should appear the second week of June and will contain information about how to find candidate information, how to obtain an absentee ballot, and where your polling place is.

            I am honored to serve as Platte County Clerk and I promise our office is here to answer any election-related questions you may have. Our website is a great resource but we always look forward to phone calls, in-person visits and emails. So, please do not hesitate to reach out with your questions, concerns, or comments. We look forward to serving you and ensuring our electoral process is fair, transparent, accurate and above all honest.