Wyoming voters will go to the polls Tuesday to vote in the state’s primary elections, and Republican congresswoman Rep. Liz Cheney is looking to an unusual source for support in her GOP race: Democrats.
While only members of a given party are allowed to vote in that party’s primary in Wyoming, the state does allow for same-day voter registration. This means that people can switch parties the same day they vote, so those who had been Democrats can become Republicans just to vote for Cheney in the primary, where her main challenger is Harriet Hageman.
“When Liz Cheney’s only hope is to appeal to Democrats to raid a Republican primary, you know she has gone all the way over to Nancy Pelosi’s side,” Hageman’s campaign manager Carly Miller told Wyoming Public Media. “Wyoming is fed up with Cheney, and it’s too late for any election shenanigans to save her.”
Cheney, who has served in the House since 2017, drew the ire of many fellow Republicans with her opposition to former President Donald Trump, including her prominent role as one of two Republicans on the House January 6 Committee. Trump himself has endorsed Hageman in an effort to unseat Cheney.
With prominent Republicans like Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, looking to sway existing Republican voters away from Cheney, the incumbent is hoping to convert new ones to save her. A page on her campaign website with voting information even has a section with instructions for how people can change their party so they can vote for her.
The site notes that a voter could register as a Republican up to 14 days before the primary date, when they request an absentee ballot, or on the day itself at the polling site.
Whether a result of Cheney’s efforts or not, there has been a swing in voter registration numbers since January, with Democrats losing almost 7,000 voters and Republicans gaining more than 11,000, according to Wyoming Public Media.
Mike Sullivan, former Democratic governor of Wyoming, counts himself among those who will make the switch and vote in the Republican primary. He told the Star-Tribune that for him, it was “a choice between the politics of courage, character and integrity or revenge, vindication and chaos.”
It was not a decision he took lightly.
“I just didn’t think that it was something that a former Democratic governor oughta do — register as a Republican,” he said.