Wyoming Recount Laws

This information was updated 8/16/2020.  

Voting System Used: 

Paper ballots  (hand marked paper ballots, BMDs for accessibility)

For more details, visit Verified Voting.

Counting Method : 

Retabulation only

The statutes define a “recount” as “the processing of ballots through the tabulation system for an additional time or times....”  Wyoming Statutes (WY Stat) § 22-1-102.

Initiating Mechanisms: 

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

Election-Official Initiated Recounts:

“The county canvassing board shall make a recount of precinct votes if it appears to the board that a recount is required due to irregularities in that precinct.”  WY Stat § 22-16-109(a).  The canvassing board initiating the recount designates the precincts to be recounted. WY Stat § 22-16-112(a).

Timing:  WY Stat § 22-16-112(c).

Close Vote Margin Options: 

Less than or equal to 1%
Initiated automatically

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.”  WY 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.” WY Stat § 22-16-111(a)(i).

Timing:  WY 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….” WY Stat § 22-16-110(a).  The recount will be conducted in “all precincts in which that candidate was voted upon for that office.” WY Stat § 22-16-112(a)(i).

Timing: WY Stat §§ 22-16-110(a) & 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. WY Stat § 22-16-111(a)(ii).

Timing: WY Stat §§ 22-16-111(ii)  & 22-16-112(c).

Cost for Candidate-Initiated Recounts: 

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

“An affidavit requesting a recount must be accompanied by the following deposit: (i) If the difference in number of votes cast as calculated pursuant to W.S. 22-16-109(b) is one percent (1%) or greater but less than five percent (5%), five hundred dollars ($500.00); (ii) If the difference in number of votes cast as calculated pursuant to W.S. 22-16-109(b) is five percent (5%) or greater, three thousand dollars ($3,000.00).”  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 the maximum of the amount deposited.  WY 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. WY 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.” WY 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.”   WY Stat § 22-14-104.

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

State Has Audit Laws: 
No
Revision Notes: 

This information was updated 8/16/2020 using the 2020 Wyoming Election Code and the Wyoming Administrative Rules accessed 8/16/2020.