Wyoming Recount Laws

This information was updated 11/3/16 using the Wyoming Statutes Annotated (Wyo. Stat.) current through the 2016 legislative session, and using the current Wyoming Administrative Rules.

Note: The website hosting Wyoming's Revised Statutes does not allow for us to link to individual statutes or sections. The index for and links to all statutes cited below can be found here.

Voting System Used: 

Mixed paper ballot and DREs with VVPAT

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Counting Method: 

Mix of recount, retabulation and electronic review

For its initial canvass, Wyoming utilizes a mixture of hand counting, optical scan tabulation and DREs with VVPATs depending on the precinct. While there is no clear statutory guidance provided on the counting method for recounts, the statutes define a “recount” as “the processing of ballots through the tabulation system for an additional time or times,” (Wyo.Stat. 22-1-102) suggesting that the initial counting method is utilized again for a recount.

Initiating Mechanism: 

Election official-initiated
Close vote margin
Candidate-initiated
Voter-initiated

Election-Official Initiated Recounts: County canvassing boards are authorized to carry out a recount of precinct votes when it appears that there are “irregularities” in a precinct. See Wyo.Stat  22-16-109(a).

Timing: Syo.Stat. 22-16-112(c).

Close Vote Margin: 

Less than or equal to 1%

For candidates, an automatic recount will be done “of all the votes cast for any office in which the difference in number of votes cast for the winning candidate receiving the least number of votes and the number of votes cast for the losing candidate receiving the greatest number of votes is less than one percent (1%) of the number of votes cast for the winning candidate receiving the least number of votes cast for that office. This recount shall be made in the entire district in which the candidates are standing for election.”  Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-109(b).

For ballot measures, an automatic recount will be done when the ballot measure “receives a number of votes, greater or lesser, within one percent (1%) of the number of votes required for passage. The one percent (1%) variance shall be calculated based upon the total number of votes cast on the proposition, except for constitutional amendments in which case the variance shall be calculated based upon the total number of votes cast in the election.” Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-111(a)(i).

Timing:  Wyo. Stat 22-16-112(c).

Candidate-Initiated Options: 

Any candidate for an office may obtain a recount by “making and filing an affidavit alleging that fraud or error occurred in counting, returning or canvassing the votes cast in any part of the district….” Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-110(a).  The recount will be conducted in “all precincts in which that candidate was voted upon for that office.” Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-112(a)(i).

Timing: Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-110(a)(i) & (ii);  Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-112(c).

Voter-Initiated Options: 

Voters may request recounts for initiatives/questions

A recount on a ballot question will be done when twenty‑five voters registered in a district voting on the ballot question file an affidavit and submit a deposit.  For recounts on ballot measures voted on in only one county, the affidavit is filed with the county clerk.  For recounts on ballot measures voted on in more than one county, the affidavit is filed with the secretary of state. Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-111(ii).

Timing: Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-111(ii) and Wyo. Stat. § 22-16-112(c).

Cost for Candidate-Initiated Recounts: 

Initiator pays deposit or bond before recount
Payer of costs depends on outcome of recount

Initiators must pay a deposit of $100 when they file the affidavit for the recount. If the outcome of the election is changed by the recount, the deposit is refunded. If the outcome is not changed, the initiators are liable for the actual costs of the recount up to $500 per county recounted. See Wyo.Stat. 22-16-113.

Cost for Voter-Initiated Recounts: 

Initiator pays deposit or bond before recount
Payer of costs depends on outcome of recount
 

Initiators must pay a deposit of $100 when they file the affidavit for the recount. If the outcome of the election is changed by the recount, the deposit is refunded. If the outcome is not changed, the initiators are liable for the actual costs of the recount up to $500 per county recounted. See Wyo Stat 22-16-113 and Wyo. Stat. 22-16-111(a)(ii) & (b).

Challengers and Observers: 

No statutory guidance for recount observers
No statutory guidance for recount challengers

We found no statutes describing a role for either observers or challengers during the recount process, nor did we find any statute requiring that the recount be conducted publicly.

Rules for Determining Voter Intent: 

Secretary of State or Election Board responsible for defining intent

There is very little statutory guidance for determining voter intent.

“For ballots designed to be counted by machine, each individual vote shall be determined by the voting equipment and shall not be determined subjectively by human tabulation except when the intent of the voter is unmistakable but the ballot was received in such damaged, soiled, or other condition that it is rejected by the machine.  The secretary of state may promulgate rules establishing standards for counting such ballots. For ballots not designed to be counted by machine, only votes clearly marked, as provided by W.S. 22‑14‑104 and rules promulgated pursuant to this code, shall be tallied. For write‑in votes, names which are misspelled or abbreviated or the use of nicknames of candidates shall be counted for the candidate if the vote is obvious to the board.” Wyo. Stat. § 22-14-114.

“A vote which is not clearly marked shall not be tallied for that office or question but votes clearly marked on the remainder of the ballot shall be tallied.”   Wyo. Stat. § 22-14-104.

See also Administrative Rule, Reference Number: 002.0005.6.10312011, “Rules for Establishing Standards for Counting Damaged Ballots.”

Audit Laws: 

State does not have audit laws

Wyoming does not audit its voter cast ballots but does conduct a post-election test of its voting equipment using a preaudited group of test ballots.  The statute requiring this testing is entitled “Post election audit.” Wyo. Stat. § 22-11-109.