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Thu June 10, 2010
Riverton mayor urges county to adopt voting changes
By Molly Messick
Laramie, WY – A local official says he thinks the Fremont County commissioners are not responding productively to a federal judge's ruling in the county's voting rights case. Wyoming Public Radio's Molly Messick has more.
In April, a U.S. district judge ruled that Fremont County's system of at-large elections for county commissioners dilutes the Native American vote. Plaintiffs in the case want commissioners to be elected from five single-member districts. But Fremont County's current commissioners have balked at that idea. Riverton Mayor John Vincent says he thinks the commissioners should embrace the judge's ruling, and hold public meetings to get input about the plan.
"It seems to me that if one were really concerned about creating voting districts that provided everybody an equal opportunity to vote and have their vote count equally - that that would be the first step you'd take."
A lawyer for the commissioners says they are exploring alternatives to the five-district plan, and will present another option before the June 30th deadline. U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson will hold a hearing to determine what voting plan the county should adopt, but that decision could be appealed. For Wyoming Public Radio, I'm Molly Messick.