(Dan Cepeda, Oil City News)

CASPER, Wyo. — Voting for the 2022 General Election is getting underway, and Natrona County voters will be asked to weigh in on several local and statewide ballot propositions and select candidates for local, county, state and federal office.

This Oil City Voter Guide includes information about how and when people can vote. Voters can also use it to learn about ballot issues and to get to know candidates. In addition to this guide, people can check out the Elections tab on the Oil City News website for all of our election-related coverage.

How to vote in Natrona County

General Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. People in Natrona County wanting to cast a ballot on Nov. 8 can find their polling location by entering their address on Natrona County’s polling locater. On the day of the election, eligible voters can go to their polling location between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to cast a ballot.

People eligible to vote can register on Election Day when they go to vote or in advance. Identification is required to register to vote. Registered voters are also required to show ID when casting a ballot. Information on accepted forms of ID is available from the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office.

Absentee voting begins on Friday, Sept. 23 in Wyoming. Absentee voting is an option for any qualified voter in the state. In Natrona County, people can request an absentee ballot by visiting the Natrona County Elections Office at 200 N. Center St., Room 154, by calling 307-235-9217 or by requesting one online.

Voters can return absentee ballots to the Natrona County Elections Office between Friday, Sept. 23 and 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. Absentee ballots cannot be accepted at polling places on General Election Day. More absentee voting information is available from Natrona County’s Elections webpage.

Military or overseas citizens can find absentee voting information on the Wyoming Secretary of State’s website.

Sample ballots showing voters in Natrona County what the ballot looks like are available via Natrona County’s polling locater.

Local ballot issues

“One-cent,” also known as “fifth-penny,” tax renewal

Voters in Natrona County will be asked to weigh in on whether to renew the optional countywide 1% sales and use tax for another four years.

As Wyoming imposes a statewide 4% sales and use tax, the local optional 1% sales and use tax is sometimes referred to as either the “one-cent” or the “fifth-penny.”

The tax has generated over $200 million in revenue shared between Natrona County and the municipalities of Casper, Mills, Evansville, Bar Nunn, Midwest and Edgerton since it was first approved by voters in 1974.

The City of Casper anticipates its share of one-cent revenues will total around $64.5 million over the next four years should voters choose to renew the tax. The Casper City Council has approved a plan as to how those revenues would be used if the tax is renewed. Details about Casper’s plan for the money are available in this article.

Lodging tax renewal

Voters will be asked to consider renewing the local lodging tax. Lodging tax is imposed on people staying in hotels, motels, campgrounds and similar establishments.

The local lodging tax question will look a little different on the ballot this fall compared with years past due to Wyoming’s new statewide lodging tax. Wyoming’s new 5% statewide lodging tax structure took effect on July 1, 2021, after Governor Mark Gordon signed the lodging tax legislation into law in March 2020.

Prior to the statewide lodging tax taking effect, local governments were able to impose local lodging taxes up to 4%. Under the new law, local lodging taxes are capped at 2%. However, 2% of the 5% statewide lodging tax is distributed to counties in proportion to the statewide lodging taxes collected within that county.

Therefore, the question before Natrona County voters this fall will be whether to approve the 2% local lodging tax.

In Natrona, the lodging tax goes to support the Natrona County Travel & Tourism Council, which also operates under the name Visit Casper. That entity works to promote travel and tourism in the Casper area. The Natrona County Travel & Tourism Council approved a new budget for fiscal year 2023 in July that includes spending authority of up to $1,801,600, about $300,000 less than in its FY 2022 budget.

Further details regarding the local lodging tax ballot proposition are available in this article.

Statewide Ballot Issues

Voters will be asked to weigh in on two proposed amendments to the Wyoming Constitution during the General Election.

Constitutional Amendment A

The Wyoming Constitution allows the state to invest funds in equities as a way to generate a source of revenue. While the state is allowed to invest funds in equities, the Wyoming Constitution prohibits counties and municipalities from doing so. Voters will be asked to consider changing that.

The ballot proposition reads as follows:

The Wyoming Constitution allows the state to invest state funds in equities such as the stock of corporations, but does not allow the funds of counties, cities and other political subdivisions to be invested in equities. The adoption of this amendment would allow the funds of counties, cities and other political subdivisions to be invested in equities to the extent and in the manner the legislature may allow by law. Any law authorizing the investment of specified political subdivision funds in equities would require a two-thirds vote of both houses of the legislature.

A “FOR” vote on this ballot issue will support amending the Wyoming Constitution as proposed. While that would create a pathway to allow counties and municipalities to potentially invest in equities, action from the Wyoming Legislature would be needed before that could happen. A so-called supermajority vote in both the Wyoming Senate and Wyoming House of Representatives would be needed to pass legislation authorizing local governments to invest in equities.

An “AGAINST” vote on the Amendment A ballot issue will support leaving in place the prohibition on counties and cities from investing in equities.

Further information regarding how the state invests in equities and how the ability might impact local governments is available in this article.

Constitutional Amendment B

Voters will be asked to weigh in on an amendment to the Wyoming Constitution to raise the mandatory retirement age for Wyoming Supreme Court justices and district court judges.

If the amendment passes, the retirement age will be raised to 75. If it fails, it will remain at 70.

While some states like South Dakota, Michigan, Arizona and New York have 70 marked as the mandatory retirement age for judges, others have higher retirement ages, and 19 states have no mandatory retirement age for judges, according to Ballotpedia.

Further information regarding the proposal to raise Wyoming’s mandatory retirement age for judges is available in this article.

Candidate information

Here are the names that will appear on General Election ballots for local, state and federal offices, according to the Natrona County government’s website. Asterisks denote an incumbent.

Click the links to see candidate responses to Oil City’s questionnaires. This list will be updated as more questionnaire responses from candidates are received.

Local Races

Natrona County Commission (four-year terms, three seats available):

Natrona County Commission (Two-year term, one available):

Natrona County Coroner (four-year term):

Natrona County Sheriff (four-year term):

  • John Harlin (R): The former deputy sheriff was appointed in 2021 by the Natrona County Commission.

Natrona County Treasurer (four-year term):

  • Tom Doyle (R)*

Natrona County Assessor (four-year term):

Natrona County Clerk (four-year term):

  • Tracy Good (R)

Clerk of District Court (four-year term):

Casper College Board of Trustees (four-year terms, three available):

Natrona County School District Board of Trustees (four-year terms, four seats available):

City of Casper

Casper City Council

The new Ward Map is available here.

Ward I (four-year term):

  • Gena Jensen
  • Jai-Ayla Southerland (appointed in 2021)

Ward II (four-year term):

Ward III (four-year terms, two available):

City of Mills

Mills City Council (four-year terms, two available):

Mills City Mayor (four-year term):

Town of Bar Nunn

Bar Nunn Town Council (four-year terms, two available):

Bar Nunn Town Mayor:

  • Peter Boyer

Town of Evansville

Evansville Town Council (four-year terms, two available):

Evansville Town Council (two-year unexpired term):

Evansville Town Mayor (four-year term):

  • Chad Edwards*
  • Steve Krohn

Special districts

Natrona County Fire Protection District Directors (four-year terms, two available):

  • Steven Garrett
  • Dean A Jackett
  • Tony Kiser

Casper Mountain Fire District Directors (four-year terms, two available):

  • Stewart “Stew” Anderson
  • Johsua Bray
  • Kaycee Klein

Casper Mountain Fire District Directors (two-year unexpired terms, two available):

  • Mickale Bell
  • Julie Bradley
  • Anthony A M Garcia
  • Ashlyn Gracia
  • Ginelle Gracia

Natrona County Conservation District (four-year terms, two available):

  • Andrew C Anderson
  • Tammy L Cobb

Federal and State of Wyoming races

(Federal) U.S. Representative (two-year term):

  • Harriet Hageman (R) 
  • Lynnette Grey Bull (D)
  • Richard Brubaker (L)
  • Marissa Joy Selvig (C)

Wyoming Governor (four-year term):

  • Mark Gordon (R)*
  • Theresa A. Livingston (D)
  • Jared J. Baldes (L)

Secretary of State:

  • Chuck Gray (R) 

State Auditor:

  • Kristi Racines (R) 

State Treasurer:

  • Curt Meier (R)*

Superintendent of Public Instruction:

  • Megan Degenfelder (R)
  • Sergio A. Maldonado Sr. (D)

Seventh Judicial District Attorney:

  • Dan J. Itzen (R)*

Wyoming State Senate (four-year seats)

Senate District 27: 

  • Bill Landen (R)

Senate District 29:

Wyoming House of Representatives (two-year seats)

House District 62:

House District 57: 

House District 58:

  • Bill Allemand (R) 

House District 59: 

House District 56: 

  • Jerry Obermueller (R)

House District 38: 

  • Tom Walters (R)

House District 37: 

House District 36: 

House District 35: 

  • Tony Locke (R)