If you are a young person who has had trouble with voter registration and polling locations, you are not alone.
The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) found that the youth vote is hindered first because youth do not like the candidates running. Beyond this, all other reasons for not voting had to do with logistical things such as voter registration and busyness.
“It’s frustrating because I don’t have time in college. I’m busy.” Colin Rucinski, a student at the University of Wyoming said as he echoed the findings of CIRCLE.
“It’s [voting] not worth our time if we don’t know what to do, or where to go,” Rucinski continued.
Voting can be complicated as young people wonder where to vote and how to register. This can be a deterrent from voting because, as Rucinski stated, it’s one single vote that requires an inconvenient process.
Where do I vote?
“I didn’t know there were different places to go vote that I had to look up on my own,” Rucinski said. Many young people are not aware there are multiple polling locations.
Polling locations are divided by district and precinct. There are 60 districts in the state of Wyoming. Each district has one representative in the state legislature. The districts are an area of land with at least 9,000 residents. A precinct is a smaller part of a district and is only used to organize elections.
District 45, for which Charles Pelkey is the representative, has two of its precincts in Laramie. Precinct 1 voters vote at Velma Linford Elementary School. 45-1 voters live in West Laramie on the far west side of I-80. The polling location for district 45, precinct 2 is the Lincoln Community Center.
45-2 voters live in the downtown area, including the neighborhood in West Laramie directly across the train tracks. This precinct also includes the Undine Park neighborhood.
The National Guard Armory is the polling location for district 14, precinct 1. Dan Furphy is the representative for district 14. 14-1 voters live in the UW residence halls, the UW apartments, fraternity and sorority row, The Verge, Campus Habitat and The Quarters.
Cathy Connolly is the representative for district 13, which has three precincts in Laramie. The Shield Street Auxiliary Gym is the polling location for precincts 1 and 2. 13-1 and 13-2 voters live in the Labonte Park area, Downey Apartments and WyoTech dorms. These precincts extend to 15th Street on their east side. Spring Creek Elementary School is the polling
location for district 13, precinct 3. 13-3 voters live in the big colorful apartment buildings near Corona Village, as well as the surrounding neighborhood (west of 15th). This precinct extends north to Harney Street. If you live directly north or south of the UW campus (the center of campus, like Prexy’s Pasture), then you’re probably in precinct 3.
Bill Haley is the representative of district 46, and the polling location is the new Laramie High School for precincts 1 and 2. 46-1 and 46-2 voters live near the UW South Lot, LaPrele Park, Washington Park and Walmart.
If you’re still unsure of where you vote, click on the district-precinct number before the area description I’ve provided and take a look at the precinct map for exact streets and boundaries.
The exact polling locations are labeled on the following map.
Haven’t Registered Yet?
Before going any further on instructions for voter registration, you need to be sure you know what address you are registered under.
“One time when I was voting I went to the armory, which is where I had voted the previous year, and they said my name wasn’t on the list, and that I wasn’t in that voting region. So then I had to go way out of town to the high school,” Rucinski said as he explained his experience with address changes.
To avoid confusion, write down the address you register(ed) under. If you move and do not change the address, you can change it at your new address polling place.
There are three ways to register to vote in Wyoming: in person, by mail, or at the polls on election day.
To register to vote in person, you must visit your county clerk’s office and ask for a voter registration form. (I’ve included the link to the Albany County Clerk Jackie Gonzales’ office.) You may also download the form on your own, fill it out, then bring it to the clerk’s office. If you choose to do this, be sure to sign the form in front of the clerk. You must have identification with you!
If you want to register by mail, you must download the form, fill it out, and sign it in front of a Notary or Registry Agent. The Notary or Registry Agent must also sign the form. Send the form and copies of your identification to your county clerk’s office.
Last, Wyoming voters can register at their polling place on election day. This process is pretty simple: go to your polling place, look for a table with election workers, and let them know you need to register. Again, be sure to have identification with you!
You now have all the tools you need to vote in Laramie as a young person. To avoid the problems Rucinski faced, use the polling map and registration instructions provided here and go increase the youth voter turnout!